Spice up your conference;FE Focus on the AOC conference

20th November 1998 at 00:00
Paul Mackney, NATFHE general secretary, has modest proposals for the AOC

Last year in Harrogate at the AOC conference I tracked down a rare Spice Girls karaoke album for my daughter, Ruby.

And now to spice up this year's conference, I have prepared a motion and left plenty of room for amendments from the likes of the SPA (Socialist Principals Alliance), Ramp;F (Risk and Franchise) or WiM (Women into Mischief).

"The AOC conference resolves that all members, on the penalty of forfeiting the privilege of membership, collectively and institutionally commit themselves to:

* embrace widening participation

* repeat the mantra "funding, funding and funding" in harmony with Unison, NUS and NATFHE

* put students first but register that this means cherishing all staff

* abandon yoyo pedagogy - literacy through unaided keyboarding

* celebrate the fact that colleges are where students fall in love and learn about life

* see human beings as human becomings and only occasionally as human goings

* work with people's strengths rather than pouncing on their weaknesses

* promote mutually agreed continual staff development

* root out bullying, discrimination, harassment, elitism, pedantry, nepotism and cronyism

* create fair procedures for appointment and promotion

* carry people along by consultation, negotiation and inviting positive critical involvement

* appreciate that it is often the friend who brings the bad news

* avoid shooting the messengers even if they are from NATFHE

* realise that continuous improvement need not mean incessant pain

* recognise that workload safeguards enhance rather than limit creativity and performance

* agree maximum teaching hours which you would be happy for your offspring to work

* believe that national off-the-peg advice does not have to be off-the-wall

* observe that managers' presenteeism blurs both precision and compassion in decision-making

* adhere to the maxim that holidays are not just for wimps

* make redundancies as rare as snow-flakes in May

* develop new Government-backed schemes for voluntary early retirement

* renounce feline obesity

* contend with the temptation to hoover up every travel opportunity * abstain from reminiscing, seeking retribution or gourmandising Chez Roger's

* back the new chief executive when he is taking leaps of faith in darkened rooms with NATFHE.

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