Report from the Supply Teacher Conference 2018
The first NUT/NEU two day Supply Teacher Conference 2018 was held at Warwick University on 23rd and 24th June. Nearly 100 delegates, including supply teachers from Wales, attended.
The Conference started with Kevin Courtney showing his support and commitment to supply teacher members and their concerns.
Further introductions were made by the Supply Teachers' National Organising Forum (NOF), which has been in existence over a year. Its function is to help the Union take forward campaigning on behalf of supply teachers and to help supply teacher members in the wider Campaigning life of the Union.
The NUT supply teachers' Network has now been running for five years and held its AGM on the first day of Conference.
Day 1 was committed to creating an action plan:
- Request that the L.A.s write to Heads regarding AWR compliance
- A letter to Supply Agencies regarding AWR compliance
- A Regional meeting in September
- At a Divisional Level approaching the LA about a Supply Pool
- A regional Newsletter
Day 2 was organised to allow delegates to participate in CPD courses, with workshops on:
- Managing Behaviour Building Relationships
- What makes an agency ethical?
- Winning and organising as supply teacher trade unionists
- Guide to Agency Worker regulations
- Winning a supply pool within a multi-academy chain - lessons from Suffolk
I ran two workshops — What makes an agency ethical, and What supply teachers can do to improve pay and conditions. The feedback from supply teachers was very positive. The workshop helped clarify the complexity of pay deductions and gave an insight into the breakdown of agency costs. Supply teachers can share experiences with one another to raise awareness about pay rates, AWR, transfer fees, contracts and other concerns they may have, including speaking with their schools, asking more questions of their agencies - if the answers are vague, evasive or not disclosed, there is probably something to hide, and knowing the law about Employment Contract (Employee, Agency Worker, Fixed Term), AWR and DfE Guidance 2016, Holiday Pay, Pension. The School has ultimate responsibility for how they spend their budget and WE can influence this.