NOVUS BRANCH COMMITTEE MOTIONS FOR Emergency Branch Meeting Monday 28 September 1:00pm – 3:00pm [on-line via TEAMS]
Emergency Motion 1:
Redundancies and Financial Management of NOVUS PEF Contract
1. This branch notes:
1.1 No other PEF provider is making staff redundant at this time. It is reasonable to assume therefore that the current s188 notice is as a consequence as to how LTE group has either bid for or managed the PEF contract since April 2019
1.2 LTE Group declared a £9M cash balance in July 2019 accounts this was after investing £5M in estates https://www.ltegroup.co.uk/about-us/group-publications/annual-publications/
1.3 In their financial statement (pg 8) they declared their financial objectives as "to generate operating cash flows to fund future rationalisation of estates to improve the learning experience and deliver efficiencies in teaching support"
1.4 Income from the PEF contract was declared as £61M over the next four years
1.5 They now tell us that due to ADP changes, a reduction in transitional funding, not being able to realise 95% of the contract value and a banding reduction at Wetherby that they need to make £3.8M savings by making members redundant and increasing workloads.
1.6 That success rates for NOVUS learners have year on year out performed all other areas of the group (pg 8 annual report)
1.7 The further employer proposal to move any annual pay award date from November to March taking NOVUS employees out of step with the rest of the group's pay award to make further savings.
1.8 The failure of the employer to make the necessary financial disclosures to the trade unions in order that meaningful consultation can take place to secure the necessary savings from elsewhere in the group and avoid our members being made redundant.
2. This branch believes:
2.1 That members should not have to pay the price for mismanagement of the PEF contract
2.2 That we will oppose all compulsory redundancies.
2.3 That the employer needs to disclose immediately the financial information requested by the trade unions in order for them to engage in meaningful consultation.
3. This branch resolves that:
3.1 The committee is mandated to escalate to a Failure to Agree unless the employer removes all threats of compulsory redundancies
3.2 The committee is mandated to take steps to conduct an indicative ballot for industrial action if the employer moves to make any UCU member compulsory redundant.
3.3 To call on all senior staff earning in excess of £100,000 to take a pay cut in line with the cuts that are being sought from front-line staff.
Emergency Motion 2
Memorandum of Understanding to reach agreement on management of contact hours and avoid compulsory redundancies. As part of our ongoing discussions with the employer as to how to mitigate further redundancies and to shape the future roles for tutors/trainers and Hub managers to service the PEF contract without further detriment to our terms and conditions. The committee is recommending that the trade unions enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the employer with an end date of 31 March 2021 to preserve our members’ contracts and shape the future delivery of Prison Education in any new post Covid delivery model.
The branch resolves:
1 To mandate the committee to enter into this agreement until the 31 March in good faith to mitigate redundancies and to resolve current issues relating to the PEF contract and its delivery.
2 To mandate the committee that if these talks breakdown or the employer tries to impose the increase in teaching hour changes at the end of the MOU we will move immediately declare a dispute and automatically move to an indicative ballot for industrial action.
3 That the MoU is on condition that the employer removes all threats of compulsory redundancies for the academic year 2020-2021
Pay Claim 2020/2021
1. This branch notes:
1.1 In July 2020 it was announced that school teachers are to receive a well-deserved pay rise of 3.1% but UCU has called for action to address the pay gap with further education (FE) lecturers which is set to rise to over £9000 a year. '
1.2 LTE Group proposing that the annual pay award date is moved for prison educators only from November to April 2021. This will further increase the pay gap not only between Prison Educators and our colleagues in FE but between prison educators and school teachers
1.3 That year on year, prison educators are left behind not only in terms of pay but associated conditions.
2. This branch believes:
2.1 That enough is enough.
2.2 That a claim should reflect not one penny less than is fair and equitable for our colleagues across the LTE group and a rate for the job which is reflective of the work that is carried out in exceptionally challenging conditions.
3. This branch resolves:
3.1 For the branch to submit a pay claim for 2020/2021 that reflects the national pay claim in FE of 3.1% and has an additional element to allow for a catchup to other educational sectors.
3.2 For the branch to submit a part II claim to incorporate the issues of a fair and transparent workload agreement, parity with trainers and professional issues such as access to CPD and curriculum design and development.
Future of Project Connect
The branch notes:
That negotiations within Project Connect have been overshadowed by the recent Covid 19 pandemic and the safe return to work has been our priority.
As we get closer to a full return throughout all parts of the group the conclusion of the project and its implementation needs to be prioritised and time bound.
The branch resolves:
Mandate the committee to negotiate with the College Branch and Unison a strategy to conclude Project Connect with the employer.
Mandates the committee to maintain our aims of parity of contract for tutors/trainers within Novus and improvement to the sickness policy
Ensure that branch negotiators continue to monitor and challenge any inequality between sessional tutors and their full-time equivalents
As Novus tries to explore different avenues to cut cost mainly through staffing cuts and attacks on our terms and conditions, we feel that it may be their intention to attack and change our pensions to ones with less favourable conditions than the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the Local Government pension Scheme.
This would be a position that is totally unacceptable to our members and the committee would be instructed to.
1. Immediately declare a dispute with the employer
2. Move to an indicative ballot for industrial action if there was no resolution.
During the period of lockdown earlier this year, this branch resolves to challenge Novus to recover these costs for members who worked from home. Members were required, on the whole, to use their own I.T equipment. In some instances, equipment failed, had to be repaired, replaced or in the worst-case scenario condemned.
Novus members wish to petition the NEC to put pressure on Novus to repay these costs.
Whilst we accept these are unprecedented times, we do not accept members being out of pocket