NEU conference 2019

NEU conference 2019   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Alex Moore, NEU national council support staff member (personal capacity)

The National Education Union was formed in September 2018 to include school teachers, further education lecturers, education support staff and teaching assistants. On 5 October around 100 support staff delegates gathered at our first section conference to discuss the crisis in education funding, the general election and our pay claim.

It was noted that although Boris Johnson has promised £7.1 billion extra school funding by 2022, there is no funding increase next year. Nor does this take inflation or rising school numbers into account. Even with this ‘extra funding’, 80% of schools will still get less than they received in 2015, while 30% of the poorest schools will see their budgets being cut.

Special needs students and the support staff working with them are bearing the brunt of the cuts and exclusions are rising as these children are thrown out of school and put in ‘special schools’. These are typically run by small private companies which do not recognise trade unions, and cut health and safety corners when it comes to lone working and other unsafe practices.

Our section motion to NEU conference boldly called for a £3-an-hour increase (approximately £5,000 a year), a living wage for cleaners and caterers and a campaign to bring those services back in-house.

We also voted overwhelmingly in favour of electing Tracy McGuire (Education Solidarity Network) and others to be our section delegates to NEU conference.