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Ulster Teachers’ Union

UTU UPDATE - September 2015

16th Sep 2015
UTU UPDATE - September 2015

UTU UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2015

Dear Colleague,

INDUSTRIAL ACTION

The CEC met on Friday 11th September and decided that we should continue our industrial action unchanged. The CEC will keep this position under review and discuss the matter again at its October meeting. Members decided to take the action short of strike in a ballot conducted earlier this year and full details of the action are on the UTU website. Colleagues in INTO, ATL and NASUWT are also taking industrial action at this time. We will keep you informed of any change to this position.

SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE

I would like to draw your attention to the new arrangements regarding Shared Parental Leave which have been brought in as a result of changes in legislation. Advice is available from UTU Headquarters and an agreed TNC document is currently under consideration. The NITC has tabled a claim for an improved Maternity leave Scheme which is under consideration at present within the negotiations on Pay.

PAY CLAIM

Talks have continued throughout the summer period on the September 2014 and 2015 Pay Claim. As previously notified, the settlement of 1%, backpaid to September 2014, has been included in the August salary for teachers. We have also had confirmation that because of our continued engagement in negotiations DE has secured a continuation of automatic incremental credit for September 2015. Any teacher with concerns or queries about their pay should contact Headquarters for individual advice.

REDUNDANCY

A total of 131 teachers were granted enhanced voluntary severance in June/July on the enhanced “double redundancy” scheme. As yet there is no confirmation of the terms which may be available for the coming academic year due to the uncertainties over the budget. The UTU, along with INTO, are running a series of joint Retirement Seminars commencing in November – see attached information.

UTU NEWS

The next issue of our magazine, UTU News, should be with you during October. If any member wishes to submit an article for inclusion in UTU News it should be forwarded to the President immediately. There is still limited availability for advertising space so if you know of anyone who wishes to avail of this opportunity they should be advised to contact Julie Orr at HQ straight away.

NEW BRANCH STRUCTURE

This time last year we restructured the UTU to coincide with the new District Council model. I have attached a list of Branch and Area Secretaries for your information. You should contact the appropriate person for information on when the Branch/ Area Association meets in your area. We hope to have dates of meetings advertised on the UTU website in the near future. There will be training for Branch/Area Officials later this term.

RECRUITMENT

I hope that any new members of your staff have been approached and invited to join UTU – many will already have been student members. UTU has had a rapidly-growing membership in terms of younger teachers and they should be made aware of the FIT (Future in Teaching) Group who hold activities throughout the year specifically aimed at recently qualified teachers. Details of the group can be accessed via the UTU website and Facebook or by contacting its Chairperson, Aaron Davidson.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

UTU and INTO continues the series of very successful joint sesions for school Principals and leaders in the Tullyglass Hotel, Cookstown on 21st October 2015. A variety of speakers is lined up, including Gavin Boyd, Interim Chief Executive of the Education Authority. Full details of this half-day seminar will be sent out very shortly – please advise leaders in your school to keep this date free.

HEADSPACE

Please find attached a leaflet from Headspace, a small private organisation offering services additional (at a cost) to the services on offer from Carecall. As you are aware the counselling provided through Carecall is limited to a defined number of sessions so this service might be of interest to teachers or schools in addition to what is already on offer.

SCHOOL VISITS

Remember, a visit from a UTU Official can be arranged by contacting us on 9066 2216. Leigh Cooper, our Organising Officer, is already visiting schools and will be more than happy to include your school in her schedule.

Best wishes for a happy and successful academic year ahead.

Avril Hall-Callaghan
General Secretary