Unions unveil wishlist

18th August 2000 at 01:00
BRITAIN'S two largest teaching unions have drawn up a joint "charter for education" in an attempt to set the agenda for the next general election.

The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers will ask the Trades Union Congress in Glasgow next month to back their 10-point plan, which calls for sustained increases in funding, an end to privatisation and equal access to high-quality education for all young people.

In a separate motion, they will also call on the TUC to re-affirm its opposition to linking teachers' salaries to pupils' results.

The two unions have had an uneasy relationship in the past, but last term launched their first joint industrial action against teachers' growing workload. P> Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the NUT, said TUC support for the charter would give it a stronger platform from which to negotiate with the Government.

The charter calls for more staff, better pay and modernisation of school buildings and equipment. It also urges new strategies to tackle social disadvantage, more help for ethnic minorities and further action to cut class sizes.

It demands action to tackle bullying of staff and "eliminate excessive workload . . . and unreasonable bureaucratic burdens".

The motion on pay calls for a "transparent, fair and equitable" salary structure which can attract new graduates. It says progress in pay should reflect teachers' contribution, but "regrets" the link between wages and pupil results.

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