Trade unions

‘Angry’ university workers vote in favour of industrial action | Education

Disillusioned university workers have voted in support of strike action on campuses across the UK following separate ballots over pensions, pay and working conditions. The University and College Union (UCU) said the result was a serious indictment of the state of higher education, and demonstrated the depth of anger and frustration among those working in the sector, many of whom are on low-paid temporary contracts. The union urged universities to address members’ concerns and warned that if they failed to…

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‘It’s in complete crisis’ – architects form trade union amid fury and despair over exploitation | Art and design

Unpaid overtime, precarious contracts, working hours so antisocial your only friends are people who do the same job … after a minimum of seven years’ education and professional training, the reality of working as an architect can be a bleak prospect. It’s not hard to see why so many of them wear black, as if in permanent mourning for the lives they once had. “Spending almost 10 years at uni to be paid £20,000 doesn’t seem right,” says Joseph, a…

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The ‘outcast’ workers rising at dawn to clean universities | Education

Victoria wakes up before dawn each day to travel into central London to clean the halls of Senate House, the centre of a network of the capital’s most prestigious universities. However, she is not employed directly by the University of London (UoL) and has worse terms and conditions than directly employed staff. “I start work at 6am each day,” the Colombian grandmother says. “Cleaning offices, mopping, dusting and taking the bins out.” After several hours, she relocates but must carry…

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GCSE results day 2019: increase in top grades – live | Education

Amy Walker has been speaking to delighted pupils at a voluntary aided King David High School in Liverpool – a Jewish school that admits children from 11 to 18 of all faiths. Ben Franks, 16, is among those now in the queue to register for the school’s sixth form after receiving GCSE grades including an 8 (equivalent to an A*), two 7s (A) and three 6s (B). Revising “got really weird at one point,” he said. “I basically developed a…

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Schools in deprived areas face further cuts next year, unions say | Education

Schools in some of England’s most deprived areas will suffer increased budget pressures and cuts next year, despite the government’s promise of extra funding, according to analysis by teaching unions. A report into individual school allocations for 2020-21 – using data released by the Department for Education – found “a strong link between deprivation and the scale of government cuts to school funding”, even accounting for the £2.6bn increase announced in August. The analysis conducted by the National Education Union…

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New teachers’ salary in England could reach £30,000, says DfE | Education

Starting salaries for new teachers in England could rise to £30,000 within four years, the government has confirmed, as part of its plans to increase recruitment and improve the status of the profession. The announcement by the Department for Education (DfE) that it will push for higher pay for newly-qualified teachers was revealed by the Guardian last week as part of the government’s “back to school” policy rollout, including increased funding for state schools. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary for…

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John McDonnell pledges shorter working week and no loss of pay | Politics

Workers will enjoy longer holidays under a future Labour government as part of a 10-year plan to see the length of the average full-time working week drop by five hours, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has announced. Speaking at the party’s conference in Brighton, McDonnell said he wanted to see a marked cut in the average working week from 37 to 32 hours within a decade, with no loss of pay. The shadow chancellor said Labour would adopt a two-pronged…

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25% of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week – study | Education

A quarter of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week, far in excess of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, research reveals. The study by the UCL Institute of Education said that five years of government initiatives to reduce excessive workload, introduced by three different education secretaries, have done nothing to cut the total number of hours worked by teachers which have remained high for two decades. Researchers found that teachers in England work 47 hours a…

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Primary school teachers want to see Sats scrapped | Education

A resounding 97% of primary school teachers would like to see high-stakes Sats tests scrapped, according to the largest poll undertaken on the subject. More than 54,000 primary members of the National Education Union (NEU) took part in an indicative ballot last month. The vast majority said they supported their leaders’ campaign for “a sensible alternative” to the national standard attainment tests, which they say are damaging children and narrowing the curriculum. The NEU said the result sent a clear…

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Teachers strike over pupils ‘carrying knives and brawling’ | UK news

Teachers have gone on strike at a school in Birmingham rated outstanding by Ofsted where they say “feral” students are carrying knives, threatening staff and brawling in classrooms. Staff at Starbank school, whose pupils’ ages range from three to 16, have been given panic buttons and are “scared to come out of their classrooms” between lessons, according to a teaching union. The NASUWT, whose members began a two-day strike at the school on Thursday, said it took urgent action when…

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Teachers strike again over pupil violence in Birmingham | Education

Teachers have gone on strike for a second time at a school rated outstanding by Ofsted, where they say pupils carry knives, threaten staff and fight in the corridors. Staff at Starbank school in Birmingham, which has more than 2,000 students, said they did not feel safe after receiving physical and verbal threats. The second day of strike action follows a walkout last week, with union members saying the school has not done enough to help teachers deal with poor…

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