Message from Keith Jerrome
Reading Trades Council was formed in 1874 in response to the Criminal Law Amendment Act which introduced prosecution for participating in strikes. It aimed at "Uniting the great number of Trade Unions in the Town".
Re-formed in 1891 it represented a voice for Unions for over 100 years in Reading. In 1904 at the Municipal elections it sought, "Free secondary schooling, free meals for schoolchildren, secular education, Council schools, free use of schools for meetings, 8 hour day for Municial workers, adoption of Workmens Dwelling Act, rating of unoccupied houses, Trades Union clauses in Municipal contracts, public works to relieve unemployment, municipal hospitals, baths and Savings Bank, municipalisation of all monopolies and evening meetings of the Council.
Today the need for a united trades union movement in our Town is as great as ever as a voice against anti-trades union laws, to defend the gains made by our pre-decessors, the jobs and services and industries built up over the years.
The message to all trades unionists in the area is to support the third Reading Trades Union Council to be established in 2010.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
From the Reading Post, 27 July 2010
Six teaching unions have launched a campaign in Reading urging schools not to sign up to become academies under proposals by the new coalition government.
Fighting Academies in Reading (FAIR) hits out at the Academies Bill introduced by education secretary Michael Gove in May which seeks to expand the number of academies in the UK.
Academy schools were introduced in 2000 and are funded directly by central government, rather than being under local authority control, and may receive additional personal and corporate support.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT), National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), UNISON, UNITE and GMB are behind the campaign.
Four schools in the town – namely Reading School, Kendrick School, Highdown School and Churchend Primary School – have registered an interest in becoming an academy.
Despite Highdown’s governing body passing a resolution to move closer to becoming an academy the unions claim large numbers of staff are opposed to the scheme at the school.
The school had already broken up for the summer when getreading tried to contact it for a response to this claim.
FAIR has written to schools claiming there are a number of disadvantages to the Bill which could affect schoolchildren and communities in Reading. They are:
- Planning needed to supply sufficient school places in the right parts of the town will be lost and there will be a greater risk of segregation
- Children most in need of specialist support who are not in academies could lose out
- Loss of local accountability
- Democratically elected councillors will have less influence when trying to support and champion the needs of the children in the communities they represent
- Effective consultation with parents and staff has not happened, even though amendments to the Bill are suggesting this should happen after governing bodies have made their decisions
- Bureaucracy required in each academy to ensure the school functions effectively will produce a more costly education service at a time of economic crisis
- Economies of scale inherent in the current local authority model will be lost and the community will suffer a reduction in value for money.
Rob Ketley, branch secretary of NUT in Reading, said: “This Bill is creating division and unfairness. The division will mean more for some pupils and less for others.
“Most of our members in Reading want to see fairness for all – and not just for those pupils in their school or community.”
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Saturday 18 September 2010 will see a conference to re-launch the Reading Trades Union Council.
All trade unions in Reading are invited to send delegates to this important planning meeting.
The meeting will be held at the UNISON Thames Valley Offices, St Giles House, Church Street, Reading. (Just off the town centre, next to the John Lewis warehouse - free car parking available).
Further details to follow.