Updated: Nov 6
September saw the start of Action Short of Strike Action (ASOSA). As members had voted to accept the 6.5% pay increase this enabled NASUWT to continue to fight for a further pay increase of 10% for 23/24 whilst members felt they already had more money in their pockets.
For many members the issue wasn't just pay, but the workload and lack of a worklife balance, and this is where ASOSA comes into play.
On top of this the Coronavirus pandemic had a massive developmental and social impact on children and this is being evidenced across the country as a deterioration in pupil behaviour as pupils need to relearn how to self regulate their behaviour. For more information go to our campaign 'A Better Deal on Behaviour' or see the results from our behaviour survey below.
So, what are the Action Short of Strike Action Instructions?
Refuse to undertake inappropriately directed duties outside of school session times;
Refuse to be directed to undertake extracurricular activities;
Refuse to be directed to undertake midday supervision of children;
Refuse to be directed to undertake any work-related tasks or activities during lunch break;
Refuse to be directed to udertake work-related tasks or activities on weekends or Bank Holidays;
Refuse to undertake any other duties during Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time;
Refuse to cover for absence other than in circumstances that are not foreseeable;
Refuse to undertake routine administrative and clerical tasks;
Refuse to co-operate with mock inspections; and
Refuse to co-operate with inappropriate planning, marking and data management policies, practices and initiatives that have not been workload impact assessed and the subject of consultation or agreement with the NASUWT.
Does ASOSA make a difference? Well the answer to this is yes, but you have to be firm and learn to say no to things. It may be that you feel you can't follow all of the instructions, so choose 2 or 3 that will make a big difference to your workload. For example if you refuse to do a lunchtime duty you could mark a few books after you have eaten your lunch. Then if you scrap chess club and your after school class, then you have gained two more hours that you can do some marking and planning. Then add in the fact that you should only be attending one, hour long meeting per week, you have gained another hour. It soon adds up and can make the difference between you working at home on Sunday afternoon or not!
These are all quotes from teachers working in the North East.
For me Action Short of Strike Action is working. I am not being asked to do any of the tasks on the list.
It's going well. The biggest thing is that it's increased camaraderie brought about by a meeting where all members attended. It also opened up a narrative for myself and the head to go over directed time calendar and be clear what's included. That's the biggest difference - it's brought the power of our union to the forefront of people's minds.
I am working to rule and I have not received any request to do anything other than teach.
Not having to do After School Clubs has made a difference. It has got people talking about workload in the staffroom.
We've had a few meetings cancelled and I had some cover cancelled yesterday as it was for a planned absence. The HT has also altered the times of the briefings so they are not as long.
This shows that when everyone is working together for a shared goal it really does work.