The School Negotiating Committee is set up under the terms of Annex D of "A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century".
The school management shall be represented by up to ** members of senior management. These may be rotated according to the item under discussion. (There is no reason why the whole SMT may not attend.)
Teaching staff will be represented by ** representatives appointed by the unions which are part of the Teachers' Side of the SNCT. (These unions are currently SSTA, EIS, NASUWT and PAT.) Where the school agreement is to be ratified by the SNC itself, the teacher representatives will be appointed approximately pro rata on the basis of their respective memberships within the school. (There may be an LNCT agreement on this which must be adhered to.)
It is the remit of the Committee to permit the relevant negotiation on the school's 35 hour agreement (the "school agreement") and shall take account of the specific items referred to in the annex. It is noted that agenda items allowable are only those allowable under the terms of national and local agreements. Other items of mutual interest are the province of another committee. (It is worth noting that "restructuring" is not a SNC matter. A School Liaison Committee would be an appropriate committee for such discussions. The membership of this committee might, however, be exactly the same as that of the SNC. Meetings of the two committees might be end on.)
The Committee will meet during the school day as regularly as is agreed but at least:
- In April (or earlier) each year to consider the management proposals for the next session's school agreement
- To consider any dispute arising from the operation of the school agreement
- At the request of either side
- To make arrangements for ballots to be used to indicate staff approval of the proposed school agreement
To agree the terms of the school agreement (following consultation with their respective members)
In this case, an agreement is reached only when approved by a majority on both management and teachers' sides.
Failure to agree and disputes
Where agreement cannot be reached on the school agreement, the matter will be referred to the LNCT. Where a school dispute cannot be resolved within the SNC the matter will be referred to the LNCT.
Chair and Standing Orders
The chair will be taken on an annual basis by the teaching side and the management side alternately. The Committee will determine whether it is felt that a set of Standing Orders is appropriate and, if so, agree these.
The headteacher will produce any starter paper. The Teachers' Side may also make initial written comment which may arise from experience of the previous year's agreement.
Ratification of the agreement
This may be by one of two mechanisms.
(a) Where it is agreed in advance that the Teachers' Side will ratify the agreement by a secret ballot
At any point where the SNC agrees that an acceptable draft has been produced, the two sides will agree a mechanism for a secret ballot of the teaching staff which will include:
- The provision of the draft for all teaching staff
- The mechanism for the conduct of the ballot
- Appointment of scrutineers
- Announcement of the result
(b) Where the agreement is to be ratified within the SNC itself
The Teachers' Side will agree a mechanism for the agreement of its joint position which will take account of the relative size of the unions concerned. Individual unions may hold a consultative ballot within their own memberships to determine the position to be adopted by their representatives. The draft is approved only if supported by both sides.
Where there has been a failure to agree and notwithstanding the above, the headteacher is always free to ask that a secret ballot be held in line with para (a) above on the proposals on offer from the management side. If this ballot rejects the proposals, the matter is immediately referred to the LNCT as case of "failure to agree" as described in the relevant paragraph above. There is no further discussion within the SNC.
Monitoring of the Agreement
The SNC is required to meet at the request of either side and at least twice per session (prior to formal discussion of the agreement for the next year) to discuss problems identified by either side and to review the operation of the agreement.