TOWER HAMLETS ZOOM MEETING
Friday 28th August
We are almost at the end of perhaps the strangest year I have known in my time as local union officer.
It was a year which started off in familiar manner with a focus on school cuts and went on to include a snap general election, a local ballot for strike action, a pandemic leading to a lockdown, and finally the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and a renewed focus on the need to develop anti-racist strategies and approaches to teaching and learning in our schools.
These events have created many tests for us as education professionals and as members of the NEU – tests which I think we have passed, learning new ways of doing things in the process and showing that we can be agile in organising to support members in schools, even in the most challenging of circumstances.
In winning our ballot for local strike action we became the first NEU branch to do so. Although we did not take strike action, we have shown our strength and ability to organise across the branch – something from which we have already benefited and will continue to do so.
We should be extremely proud of the work we have done together in recent months, which has kept people safe and undoubtedly saved lives.
As a local branch of the NEU we have stepped up and delivered on Union policy, holding some of the biggest branch meetings the Union has seen.
The NEU has seen an increase of over 25,000 members and 3,000 new school reps since March 1st and these increases are reflected in our local membership.
None of this is possible without a team of committed school Reps who understand what we are trying to do and are able to take this to members in schools.
I want to pay tribute to all NEU Reps for the work you have done on behalf of members this year, which has made the Union stronger and more united.
You have all done an amazing job especially those of you who became Reps at the beginning of the pandemic – and not just in your own schools, but in supporting each other.
THANK YOU ALL
Our focus now is on making sure the return to school in September is as safe as possible. We know that schools are using the NEU Checklist to create a framework which will be finalised towards the end of August when the situation is a bit clearer.
To help with this we will be holding a meeting for Tower Hamlets Reps and members on Friday 28th August at 4:00pm – this follows a national Reps call on Thursday 27th at 5:00pm – you can register for our meeting here.
In September we will also want to make sure that teachers receive the pay progression for which they are eligible and will bring colleagues together again to discuss how we take forward our anti-racist work.
That’s all from me – I will be taking a short break from next week but will be checking in on emails towards the end of August.
Now all that remains is for me to thank you once more and to wish you, your families and loved ones a restful and safe summer holiday and we will meet up again soon.