Trade union recognition agreement

There was a discussion about proposed revisions to the Trade Union Recognition Agreement (TURA)
following the last meeting and email correspondence.

There was feedback from the NASUWT and other trade unions and the Trust appeared to accept almost all of the points and amendments made. A revised version of the TURA is to be circulated.

The Trust is still vague about the way in which any internal facility pot will be managed and the amount of funding available to facilitate this. The NASUWT favours release which is based on clear and objective formulae, such as membership numbers.

Policies update

Pay policy

The Union has submitted comments to Brooke Weston regarding the pay policy. The policy as it stands is unacceptable to the NASUWT and cannot be agreed for a number of reasons, including:

  • it suggests that the CEO and the Finance Director have the final say about pay and pay progression;
  • use of the Teachers’ Standards as a checklist rather than a backdrop, as well as the use of career stage expectations;
  • reference to ‘overall contribution to the school’ which could be seen as discriminatory;
  • it is not clear about the right to representation at all stages.
Performance management

The Union has submitted comments to Brooke Weston regarding the pay policy. The policy as it stands is unacceptable to the NASUWT and cannot be agreed for a number of reasons, including:

  • the Teachers’ Standards should be used a backdrop and not a checklist. In addition, the NASUWT could not agree to the additional use of career stage expectations;
  • what is used to assess the performance of a teacher should be mutually agreed. Once agreed, these are the only sources of information which can be used;
  • missing a section on representation;
  • missing a section on appeals;
  • missing a statement regarding progress towards challenging targets will be assessed favourable;
  • no limit on the number of objectives which can be set (three);
  • the meeting between the appraiser and appraisee begins from the premise that the teacher is meeting the Teachers' Standards unless there is clear compelling evidence they are not;
  • all observations take place within directed time, but not PPA time.
Reward and recognition policy

The Union would want to understand how these are reward and recognition policies as a number just relate to statutory entitlements, unless, of course, the Trust has enhanced these.

There is also reference to the fact that there is an element of discretion permitted within the policy.

Pensions policy

It is not clear as to whether this is a statement or a policy. It should be firmer on the assumption that teachers are enrolled in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).

Paternity leave policy

The policy needs to be amended to reflect the correct definitions of who is entitled to paternity leave.

The policy requires clarification as to whether this is an occupational entitlement as the law does not distinguish between Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL) and Additional Paternity Leave (APL). APL was abolished and replaced with shared parental leave, so all references to this must change to reflect the statutory provisions.

Maternity leave policy

Reference to the provisions of the Burgundy Book is required.

There needs to be recognition that risk assessments are fluid and should be something that the individual is engaged with rather than has imposed upon them.

Suitable alternative work should be subject to discussion and agreement with the employee involved.

There can no expectation that the individual provides work for the time when they are absent.

Flexible working policy

The Trust should look to make the right to request flexible working a day-one right.

The policy should not look to restrict the type of flexible working available.

The range of reasons which can be used to deny a request for flexible working has been interpreted by the Trust in ways which are unacceptable to the NASUWT.

Gender pay gap

The Trust believes that its gender pay gap (see right/below) has not changed dramatically. It still shows a difference in the mean pay difference which is higher than average (approx. 17%) and the Union raised concerns and challenged the Trust as to what it was going to do to address the situation.

Pay progression data

The Trust reported an overall rate of pay progression of 89%. (See right/below.)

Against this, the NASUWT raised concerns over the pay progression of those on UPS (40%) as well as part-time teachers (75%).

The Union asked the Trust what it was doing to address the rates of pay progression in the form of an action plan.