Campaigns Update: November 2020



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We are aware that a letter is being circulated in schools which wrongly suggests that proposed changes to terms and conditions will not affect school staff and that our ballot may be unlawful.

Please reassure NEU colleagues that our ballot is entirely lawful, and that I am in regular contact with the relevant staff at NEU HQ throughout this process.

We are balloting because Tower Hamlets, as our employer, is asking schools to consider adopting the proposals in Tower Rewards, which will worsen our contractual terms and conditions. They are doing this without consulting the NEU, or other unions, via our established negotiating forum. Unison are also balloting their members, including school support staff – NEU and Unison are the two largest unions in Tower Hamlets.

The circulation of this letter is a deliberate attempt to cause confusion and our best response is to build the strongest possible vote in our ballot, which I know you are doing.
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12 VOTES = 1%

Remember, just 12 votes is all it takes to increase the vote by 1%, so please do everything you can to build the vote stage by stage – here are some ideas:

  • staffroom ballot box – make a ballot box for the staffroom or for your meeting
  • baking for ballots – one Rep baked brownies to give to members in return for their completed ballot paper
  • NEU visit to the post box – organise a lunchtime or after school visit for NEU members to post their ballots together – send us a photo
  • I voted Yes photos – please print off copies of the attached sign and take a photo in your school meeting for us to share


Please try to keep a tally of how many people have voted in your school and let me know on the Friday of each week – this will help us target some of our energies.

Indicative Ballot over changes to terms and conditions and failure to consult with NEU

Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 09.22.07Following meetings in schools and the decision of members at our last General Members meeting on 25th November, we have been given approval to conduct an indicative ballot over changes to terms and conditions and the failure of the council to consult properly with the NEU.

We are working on the details, which will be finalised after our meeting with the Local Authority on Thursday.

At this stage our dispute is with the Local Authority so our ballot will only include members employed in Community schools and those who are centrally employed.

This means we will NOT be balloting members on VA schools or academies, who have a different employer – we will continue to consider the position of members in these schools as our campaign develops and will find ways for them to support our ballot and the campaign to get these proposals withdrawn.

Leaflet explaining the changes to terms and conditions

Model motion on changes to terms and conditions

Getting ballot ready

The indicative ballot will take place this term and we need to make sure that every member knows what we are doing, why we are doing it and when we are doing it – please call a meeting in your school to discuss this and make sure members are ready for the ballot.

We will produce more materials but for the time being please use this leaflet we have been using in schools.

Membership Updates

We have sent text messages and emails to members asking them to check their membership details and update them if necessary.

Don’t forget you can check the membership list for your school here.

Once you have logged on and set up an account with the NEU. If you would prefer me to send a list for your school please let me know.


We are holding a short briefing for NEU Reps on Monday 9th December at 5:00pm in Stepney Green School – please make a note in your diary and try to attend or send someone else from your school. We will have some mince pies!

Other News


VALUE EDUCATION – VOTE EDUCATION – School cuts leafletingDecember 4th
Please talk to your head and make arrangements to distribute leaflets to parents – send us pictures.

For more details of how you can help get the vote out for education please see the NEU website


Launch of NEU Black Members Network • December 4th

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Download invitation to circulate:  NEU Black Member Network invitation

Climate Emergency Day of Action • November 29th

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Please find ways to support this in school – NEU guidance is available herea Tower Hamlets protest rally is being held at 4:00pm in Altab Ali Park

UCU strike action
University lecturers are taking strike action over pay and pensions.

Please support UCU colleagues at Queen Mary College on their picket lines if you can.

Vote Education

As we did in 2017, the NEU will be using the general election to highlight education issues – particularly school funding and the impact of child poverty on the children we teach – here are few important things you should know:

  • Campaign video: to start the campaign the Union has produced this excellent video which we would like you to show to NEU members.
  • School gate leafletting: the Union has produced leaflets about school cuts for us to give out to parents we want to organise a date where we do this all together across Tower Hamlets schools – you can order leaflets for your school here.
We will contact you with more news about the campaign and how you can get involved.

Indicative ballot on Primary Testing- results

The NEU indicative ballot closed last week – the overall turnout was 39% with 97% of those voting in favour of ending the current system of testing.

Executive members have been sent a detailed analysis of the ballot result and will be making decisions about the next steps when it meets on Saturday.
Today is SATs results day, so the NEU has issued the press release pasted below which has been covered in The Guardian and other news outlets
More Than A Score have also released this excellent video for today – please watch and share.

Primary Testing Ballot

The NEU Primary testing ballot will close on Tuesday 2nd July. If you have not already please cast your vote. Whatever your views it is important that we get a high turn out of votes to ensure we know the views of all members. Then the union can plan the next steps for the campaign. #ScrapSATS

You will receive another email email on Thursday. Click on the link and answer the two short questions. It only takes a couple of seconds.

Blair Peach Remembrance Student Competition

23rdApril will mark the 40 years since the death of Blair Peach.

Blair was a teacher at Phoenix School in Tower Hamlets andan active member of the East London Teachers’ Association (now the Tower Hamlets and the City district of the NEU).

Blair was a campaigner and activist against far right and neo-Nazi organisations. He attended a demonstration held by the Anti-Nazi League outside the town hall in Southall, West London on Monday 23 April 1979, St George’s Day, joining 3,000 protesters against a National Front meeting, taking place in the town hall. Present at the demonstration were over 2,500 police, and it became violent; more than 40 people, including 21 police, were injured and 300 were arrested. Peach was knocked unconscious and died the next day in Hospital.

Blair Peach believed in the inclusion of everyone no matter what race, religion or educational ability.

The NEU Tower Hamlets and the City district are running a competition for students to create a poster or poem to celebrate the life of Blair Peach and what he stood up for.

The poster or poem should include the statement Unity is Strength and celebrate the beliefs of Blair Peach. Entries should be on bigger than 1 side of A4.

There are 3 entry categories and all winning entries will be part of an exhibition to mark Blair’s life at Bow Arts and receive a prize.

  1. Primary students
  2. Secondary students
  3. SEND students

To entry Please send entries toTower Hamlets and The City NEU

Shadwell Centre

455 The Highway,



On the back of the entry write your full name, category you are entering, School name and the name, email address or phone number of your parent or carer.

Closing date: TBC

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