TUC Training for School and H&S Reps
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Update Meetings Week Beginning 14th January 2019
Dear EIS Member
The week beginning 14th January 2019, we are organising a series of meetings around Edinburgh. These are aimed at updating all members about key issues for the union. In particular, we will be looking at latest developments in the Edinburgh Violence at Work/ASN/Inclusion campaign, and the National Pay Campaign. We have deliberately chosen a range of schools, and a range of days, to try to maximise opportunities for people to attend. It is really important that every school sends at least one person to at least one of these meetings.
The meetings are:
Monday 14th Currie High School - registration from 4pm. Meeting 4.30-5.45pm
Tuesday 15th Queensferry High School - registration from 4pm. Meeting 4.30-5.45pm
Thursday 17th Gracemount High School - registration from 4pm. Meeting 4.30-5.45pm
Thursday 17th Trinity Academy - registration from 4pm. Meeting 4.30-5.45pm
Thursday 17th Castlebrae Community High School - registration from 4pm. Meeting 4.30-5.45pm
Friday 18th Moray Place - registration from 1pm. Main meeting 1.30-2.45pm. But we will be here, and available for discussion/debate, until 4.45pm, to allow those who do not work a short Friday/cannot get here earlier for any other reason, to attend.
Please email this office as soon as possible to let us know which meeting you want to come to (more than happy if lots of people from one school come along - and you don’t all have to go to the same meeting).
Please also consider having a branch meeting on the first day back in January - that way, you can double check you have representatives from your school attending at least one of the meetings, and members can ensure those representatives have a clear idea about what are the main questions, comments, ideas and concerns that they want to feed in to discussions.
BTW: On Saturday 12th January, there will be a special EIS Council meeting, looking at next steps in the pay campaign (including whether we are moving to statutory ballot) and we aim to have at least one of our Council members come to speak at each of the Edinburgh meetings, so that members have the most direct and up-to-date information on the campaign.
Two final requests:
Have you completed your ValueEducationValueTeachers survey yet (you should have received an email from HQ with a link to this)? It is really important we have as many people as possible doing this. If you didn’t get it, you can access the survey via the members area of the EIS website?
Have you checked that your home address and school base are up to date on the EIS database? It is essential these are correct if we are going to have a statutory ballot for industrial action.
Secretary's Weekly Update - 10 December 2018
Dear EIS Member
Unions are not a spectator sport
Unions require member participation
It’s been great to see so many more members become actively involved in the EIS. This is shown in everything from the magnificent turnout in the National Demo and the ballot on the pay offer, to the numbers taking part in the Edinburgh survey on Violence at Work and attending local meetings. If we are going to build on this, we need more members with a range of backgrounds and experience to work together in different ways. There are lots of opportunities available - please think if some of the ones below would suit you. If you want to find out more about any of them, just contact the LA office (email@example.com or telephone 0131 225 3474) and we will talk you through what is involved.
EIS NATIONAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2019 - 2020
The EIS Council is the principal executive committee of the EIS, and votes on key issues, such as whether we will be holding a statutory ballot on pay. It meets around 5 times a year, usually in Edinburgh and also at the AGM in June. The Edinburgh Local Association is entitled to 9 Council members across the 2 categories of Primary/Nursery and Secondary/Special. The 9 places are divided on a 5:4 basis either way and we are keen to fill all these. Think about whether you would like to be part of the national governing body of the union. You can get a nomination form if you email the LA office, or if you go to https://www.eis.org.uk/Edinburgh/Council . The deadline for the return of forms to Moray Place is Friday 1 February 2019.
We also have one vacancy for the remaining meetings of this year’s Council - this is because one of our current Council members, Sandra Scott, is having to step down, for the very exciting reason that she has started a secondment with the EIS looking at ways of promoting equity in education.
EIS NATIONAL AGM 2019
This year's AGM will take place in Perth from 6th - 8th June 2019. AGM decides policy for the EIS - it was decisions by the AGM that have driven the pay campaign, Nomination forms for members interested in attending are available from the local association office, or you can go to https://www.eis.org.uk/Edinburgh/EISAGM . Edinburgh can nominate up to 16 delegates (this is in addition to those Edinburgh members who are already on Council and automatically attend). The deadline for the return of forms to the local association office is Friday 1 February 2019.
Both the National Council and the AGM are great ways of finding out about what is happening nationally both in the EIS and in Scottish education. They offer members a real chance to influence policy and make a real difference for teachers and pupils.
If you want to get more involved with the EIS in Edinburgh, here are some options:
LOCAL ASSOCIATION OFFICE BEARERS 2019 - 2020
Nomination forms for the post of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer are available from the local association office, or go to https://www.eis.org.uk/Edinburgh/Officebearers . The deadline for the return of forms to the local association office is Friday 1 February 2019.
LOCAL ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE
We need more members to join the LA executive, which is the main decision-making body of the Edinburgh LA. We can have up to 30 members on this committee and, until all those posts are filled, members can join at any time (beyond that, we would hold elections in February). We meet approx. once a month, on a Wednesday evening at 5pm. Email the office if you are interested, or you can download a form from here https://www.eis.org.uk/Edinburgh/Edinburghexecutivemembers . The deadline for the return of forms to the local association office is Friday 1 February 2019.
We’ll send out reminders nearer the time but put the date in your diary now – Wednesday 6 March 2019.
CAMPAIGN UPDATE MEETINGS
During the week beginning 14 January 2019, we will be holding meetings around Edinburgh to update members on all our key work - especially the pay campaign and the Violence at Work campaign. We’re sorting out venues now, so will send out a separate email soon, but it is really important that we have one or two members from every school in Edinburgh at one of these. Why not plan now to hold an EIS meeting at your school on 8 January? You can discuss key issues and decide who will represent you at these meetings.
EQUALITY REPS AND LEARNING REPS
These reps do enormous amounts of work to support members and pupils. Edinburgh needs more of both. You can find out more about what is involved at https://www.eis.org.uk/Become-Active/LearningReps-Intro and https://www.eis.org.uk/Become-Active/LearningReps-Intro.
The EIS has occupational networks for Headteachers and Deputes, Educational Psychologists, Music Instructors and Additional Support for Learning teachers. We need Edinburgh representation on each of these (with the exception of Educational Psychologists). If you are interested, you will find nomination forms here https://www.eis.org.uk/Edinburgh/Nationalnetworks . The deadline for the return of forms to the local association office is this Friday 14 December 2018.
Keeping membership details up to date
Dear EIS Member
Are your contact details up to date on the EIS data base? Do we have your correct postal address and your current school?
Please double check this week by logging in to EIS website here https://www.eis.org.uk/Account/EISLogin and going to myEIS. You will need your EIS number, if you don’t know it please drop us an email.
We really need this to be right if we do have to move to a statutory ballot in January.
Secretary's Weekly Update - 3 December 2018
Dear EIS Member
I hope you enjoyed the weekend, and that the last three weeks of term, with all the associated work as people build towards Christmas shows, prelims, course deadlines and everything else, doesn’t prove too stressful.
For once, this update won’t have lots about the pay campaign - not because it is not incredibly important, but because I hope to send out a separate email soon - the LA Executive is meeting on Wednesday, and I can update you after that on what actions we have decided to prioritise. Also, the joint chairs of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teacher (SNCT) are meeting today, so we hope that there will soon be news about what new pay offer Scottish Government and COSLA will be making. Another thing I won’t write lots about now is our local campaign around ASN/Violence etc. I’ve been in a lot of meetings in the last week where there have been detailed discussions about the EIS/UNISON survey on Violence in the Workplace, and there has been consideration given to both immediate actions that can be taken, and what longer-term strategies are required. It is fair to say that almost everyone I have spoken to is now taking this issue seriously, and we have received assurances that some actions will be taken in the next couple of weeks. I hope that I will soon be able to give you a clearer idea of what things you should be starting to see happen on a much more consistent basis.
Edinburgh currently has open consultations on its budget for the next four years (https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/bi/change/consultation/subpage.2018-09-20.4671548083/) and on the implementation of a tourist tax (https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/ce/tvl/). The former closes this Friday and the latter on Monday. It is really important that as many people as possible complete these surveys, and make it clear the impact that further cuts in education spending would have. If you want to see the LA response to these consultations, go to https://www.eis.org.uk/Edinburgh/Latest - some of you might find this a handy starting point to think about your own response.
The EIS has a series of Occupational Networks - these are the: Headteachers/Depute Headteachers network; Music Instructors network; Educational Psychologists network; Additional Support Needs network. As an LA, we need to ensure that we have representation on the national networks. It would also be good to look at setting up local networks to mirror the national groups. If you would be interested in being our LA rep on any of the national networks, please email the LA office for a nomination form (and a discussion of what might be involved!) before the deadline of Wednesday 19th December. If you would be interested in becoming involved in a local network, please also get in touch and we can discuss how we might proceed.
One for retired members, those who work part time, or, for any other reason, are free at noon on Wednesday 12th December:
Wednesday 12th December is Scottish Government Budget Day. At noon, many public sector unions will be rallying outside the Scottish Parliament to demand a fair settlement that protects vital public services and restores our pay. The EIS national banner, and national office bearers, will be in attendance. It would be good to have an Edinburgh presence, too – please email the office if you are able to come along.
There seems to be some confusion about the way OH referrals, consultations and reports should operate. Any employee can, and should, request an OH referral if they think that there is a health issue that might be impacting them at work (this can range from something like an injury or illness meaning you might need specialised equipment, to work related stress). Equally, managers may suggest an OH referral if they have concerns. OH referrals may also be requested as part of absence management. Whatever has triggered the request, the referral form itself is submitted by the manager after consultation with the employee, and the employee should be given a copy of the referral. Aside from anything else, OH itself is clear that consultations are much more likely to be successful when the referral form has been completed in this way, as it is more likely to contain pertinent information. The consultation itself is often via telephone, though a face-to-face assessment can also take place (you can find out more about this here: https://orb.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/200911/employee_wellbeing/2233/occupational_health/2). Then a written report is sent to the manager. The manager must share this with the employee as soon as they receive it. There are opportunities for employees to challenge the report, if they are not happy (https://orb.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/200911/employee_wellbeing/2233/occupational_health/3). If everyone is clear about the procedures, there is far more chance of a successful outcome from OH>
As I have said before, whilst we do try to respond to all queries to the office, at this time of year they tend to come in faster than we can reply. If you have been in touch and not heard back, please do email or phone again, and we will do our best to help.
Have a good week!