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The NASUWT has been highlighting the major issues of teachers' pay, mental health, workplace harassment and workload at TUC Congress in Manchester.

The Union has raised awareness and gained the support of the TUC and sister trade unions for the ongoing fight for dignity and respect for teachers in the workplace.

Executive Member Jane Setchfield condemned the "unprecedented and unacceptable" decision of the Education Secretary to ignore the pay review body's recommendation of an across the board 3.5% pay award for teachers. She told Congress: "The pay policies of the government continue to create financial hardship for many teachers and support staff-this is not acceptable. We must continue our fight to end any pay cap and end discriminatory pay practices. We must also fight to deliver pay justice for all workers."

President Dan McCarthy highlighted the "endemic epidemic" of mental ill health among teachers, telling Congress: "Teachers must be treated with dignity, supported in their work and allowed to have time for their families and friends. Success as an educator should not be survival of the fittest" he said.

Senior Vice President Dave Kitchen condemned the "greed and excess" which the Government's policy of academisation has ushered in. He told Congress 29 academy schools paid at least one manager over £150,000 last year and over £170million was paid out to consultants. At the same time only half of academies' expenditure went on employing teachers.

He told Congress: "These are the Government's own figures- a condemnation of government policy since 2010. We cannot allow our children and young people and the schools workforce to continue to be victims of this government policy. It is now time for an independent inquiry."

Excessive teacher workload was a key theme running through much of the NASUWT's work at Congress. Executive Member Kathy Duggan told delegates that data was being misused as "a stick to beat teachers with", adding: "there is no evidence that the emphasis on electronically recorded data is of any benefit to children's learning", finishing by calling for employers to "desist from insisting teachers carry out these pointless tasks."

The NASUWT also addressed Congress on a wealth of other issues inclusing fighting sexual harassment, the importance of arts in the curriculum, the threat of automation on the jobs of black workers and the increasing insecure employment facing young workers. 

Photo credit: ©John Harris/Reportdigital.co.uk

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