GMB represents over 120,000 members employed in schools and the recent move by the Tory-Lib Coalition Government to encourage all ‘Outstanding’ schools to convert to Academy Status is a direct threat to our members pay, pensions and terms and conditions of employment.
GMB is opposed to Academies in principal and will support members, parents, Governors and local communities in their campaigns to prevent their school being taken out of the state system.
However GMB recognises that our single, over-riding goal is to organise, represent and protect our members in their workplace and we are committed to supporting all GMB School members regardless of the status of their school.
At GMB Congress 2010 Avril Chambers, Lead Organiser for Education and Training, made the following commitment to GMB members regarding our Academy organising campaign which was also covered in the most recent School Workforce News 31.
Now that the Government has published the list of schools (Outstanding and not-Outstanding) that have registered an interest in Academy Status, GMB has made the Outstanding schools an industrial and organising priority in the remaining weeks of this term and the start of the Autumn term, because Gove has said he will fast track the conversion of these schools to Academies.
We have also recently been advised by fellow education unions that the following list of 24 schools have passed resolutions at their Governing Body to proceed with Academy conversion - so it is important that GMB acts quickly to ensure that we maximise the opportunities to protect our existing members pay, pensions, terms and conditions of employment and ensure that we retain recognition in case the school converts to an Academy.
To fulfil the commitment made to members at GMB Congress the following organising actions have been developed and adopted by the Regions:
- Regions have identified GMB Schools membership in all Outstanding Schools;
- Head Teachers of all of these schools have been written to by e-mail and hard copy;
- Copies of these letters have been sent to all GMB members in each school to keep them updated;
- Officers and Branch Officials are seeking meetings for all Support Staff for consultation on the proposed conversion;
- Officer and Branch Officials will be meeting with Heads and Governors to discuss transfer processes and new GMB recognition arrangements should a conversion to Academy Status occur.
- Officer and Branch Officials are also exploring the potential for local alliances with parent and teachers regarding Academy Status proposals.
GMB has also compiled a series of resources for members, parents, Governors, Workplace Organisers, Branch Officials and community activists to provide them with information such as Frequently Asked Questions about the process of converting to Academy Status, model motions to Governing Bodies and letters to Heads, which can all be accessed here.
GMB is committed to being pro-active in supporting members in taking the campaign to the Head Teachers and Governing Bodies in order to protect them and their conditions of employment and encourages all members, parents, Governors, Workplace Organisers, Branch Officials and community activists to get involved in our campaign to support schools and their workforces in your local community.
For further information please contact Rachel Harrison Lead Schools officer :Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org or 0345 337 7777.