The Eamon O'Kane NASUWT Young Activist of the Year 2013
Every year the NASUWT call for nominations for the Young Activist of the Year. The winner of the Young Activist award, sponsored by UIA Home Insurance (new window), are then presented with the award at the NASUWT Annual Conference. This is an excellent opportunity for a young member to experience a broad range of NASUWT activities.
Young Activist of the Year -background
Making a nomination to the 2014 Young Activist of the Year Award.
Every year the NASUWT acknowledges the outstanding activity amongst the Union's young members, by presenting an award to the winner of the Young Activist of the Year. Nominations for young activists of the year are usually made by a local association or Regional Committee to acknowledge the outstanding contribution to the NASUWT in the local area and sometimes nationally, that a young member has made. Nominations for the 2014 Young Activist of the Year will be open from the early part of 2014, keep browsing this page for further information.
The Winner of the 2013 Young Activist of the Year Award.
At the NASUWT Annual Conference in 2013, Gary Upton from West Berkshire Local Association received the award as the NASUWT Young Activist of the Year for 2013.
Gary is a 28 year old music teacher at Denefield School which is a secondary academy school in Reading. He has received the Young Activist of the Year Award for his tireless efforts on behalf of NASUWT members within his school, but also for his growing stature as a NASUWT representative both in the South East Region and at a national level.
Heightened the NASUWT's profile
As School Rep Since 2009 Gary has negotiated on whole school policies. He has completed Stage 3 casework training and has represented members on casework regarding capability, ill health, pay progression and disciplinary issues. Gary has deputised for the local authority caseworker whilst they were incapacitated -dealing with casework in other schools.
Helped to increase the membership of the NASUWT
Gary mounted a campaign and staff petition against his schools planned conversion to academy status, part of this work included the establishment of a working JCC constitution and the establishment of the recognition of facilities time agreements within the school. Gary also ensured that there was successful resistance through the National Action Short of Strike Action of the schools planned imposition of punitive new planning procedures. Gary successfully lobbied to implement fair procedures on ill health capability within the school. Gary has also secured gains for NQT staff and staff threatened with capability. Gary has also raised the profile of the NASUWT within the gay community within Reading through activities at Reading Pride (2011-12).
Further Information about the 2013 Young Activist Award Winner
Work in the Local Association
Gary has worked as West Berkshire NASUWT treasurer since January 2009. He has played a key role in bringing equalities issues onto the agenda of local meetings. Gary has also assisted in increasing turnout at meetings. Gary has been integral in moving the local association forwards so that it is a more healthy & diverse cohort that encourages all members to participate.Gary has also recently set up a facebook page to encourage increased communication amongst NASUWT members across West Berkshire.
Regional and National work
Gary has been a delegate to Reading TUC and has also served as Secretary and he has also heightened NASUWT activities at Reading Pride and campaigns in Reading town centre, represented NASUWT on South East Regional TUC (SERTUC) regional council and SERTUC Young members network and has attended national TUC Young members conference. Gary has also organised members to both national marches organised by NASUWT against the government in London and organised a TUC march in Reading. As part of his role on the SERTUC Young Member's Network, Gary has organised a presence at the Manchester march against youth unemployment.
The NASUWT Young Activist of the Year Award is sponsored by UIA Home Insurance (new window), and has been for a number of years. UIA will offer the 2013 winner £250 off their home insurance for a year if they take out home insurance with the UIA. Part of the prize also includes the UIA donating some funding to the NASUWT towards some of the costs specifically related to activity undertaken as part of the Young Activist of the Year role throughout the year. The presentation of an award and the ceremony in general is a great opportunity to celebrate the work of the NASUWT. The UIA also support all members by offering competitive home insurance http://www.nasuwtinsurance.co.uk.