The NASUWT’s last meeting with the Brooke Weston Trust (BWT) was on 24th March 2017 where the BWT tabled Pay, Disciplinary and Probation Policies (Support Staff), in addition to tabling pay progression data as part of the discussion.

Disciplinary Policy

The NASUWT submitted a number of changes to the policy in line with the ACAS Code of Practice and relevant legislation. The NASUWT has not agreed this policy and awaits a final draft from BWT prior to a final decision being made.

Pay and Appraisal Policies

The BWT Pay and Appraisal Policies remain unacceptable to the NASUWT as they do not comply with the NASUWT model policies and checklists. NASUWT members should be aware that both Pay and Appraisal Policies have been imposed at Brooke Weston Academies without trade union agreement. The BWT Pay and Appraisal Policies have ‘no limit’ on objectives or ‘lesson observations’, while ‘teaching standards’ are used as a checklist in addition to any agreed objectives and the inclusion of ‘BWT Career Stage Expectations’, a further barrier to our members' pay progression. The policies are workload-intensive and at odds with DfE guidance on reducing workload. BWT has given a commitment to review the policies following the 2017 summer examinations.

NB: The Pay and Appraisal Policies in operation at BWT schools have not been agreed with the NASUWT.

Pay Progression Data

The data showed that 48 out of 218 BWT staff did not apply for progression. The NASUWT stated this was totally unacceptable and that staff do not have to apply for pay progression either up the main scale or threshold. The Union pointed out that staff should progress if their annual appraisal was successful.

Whistle-blowing Officer

The new BWT ‘Whistle-blowing Officer’ is Martine Boyd who is based at Corby Business Academy and can be contacted there or via the BWT web site.

National Industrial Action

As you will be aware, the NASUWT is engaged in national industrial action. The current imposed BWT Pay and Appraisal Policies breach the national industrial action instructions circulated to members. The NASUWT informed BWT that any imposed policies that did not conform to the joint pay policy and checklists on appraisal and lesson observations could lead to a collective dispute.

If NASUWT members at your school have concerns either individually or collectively, you should contact the NASUWT for professional advice. If you do not have an NASUWT Representative in your school, contact your Local, Federation or Negotiating Secretary for advice or your NASUWT Regional Centre.

The NASUWT also has a new service called the Member Support Advice (MSA) Team that provides professional advice on telephone number 03330 145550. They will provide you with telephone numbers and advise which of the above would be your most appropriate point of contact, as well as providing instant advice.

BWT School Teachers' Pay 2016/17 (Cost of Living Pay Award)

The NASUWT will be submitting a pay claim on behalf of NASUWT members early in the 2017 summer term.

Protection of Your Pay and Conditions under TUPE

Staff who transferred when the school became an academy transferred under TUPE and therefore benefit from the protections of TUPE. One of those protections is that changes to the transferred contract of employment cannot be made. Regulation 4(4) TUPE sets that out – any purported variation to the contract will be void. Therefore requiring staff who transferred under TUPE to sign new contracts is not permitted. The protection from TUPE does not apply only to certain terms and conditions. TUPE applies to the whole contract. The employer cannot pick and choose which bits of the contract are protected by TUPE – it is all protected by TUPE and so there should not be any move to introduce new contracts without the explicit agreement of employees.

Employees therefore have the legal right to transfer to the new employer on their existing terms and conditions of employment and with all their existing employment rights and liabilities intact. Effectively, the new employer steps into the shoes of the old employer and it is as though the employee's contract of employment was always made with the new employer.

NB: The Union has still been unable to reach agreement on a Trade Union Facility Time Agreement (TUFA) as the employer consistently refuses to pay into local authority facility time pots.