School Support Staff Negotiating Body
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PAGE WAS ARCHIVED ON 10 FEBRUARY 2012
Update on abolition of the SSSNB
Under clause 18 of the Education Act 2011, the abolition of the School Support Staff Negotiating Body took effect on 1 February 2012.
On 28 October 2010, the Government announced the introduction of legislation to abolish the School Support Staff Negotiating Body "at the earliest opportunity". Following a review of the future policy direction for determining school support staff pay and conditions, the Government concluded that the SSSNB did not fit well with its priorities for greater deregulation of the pay and conditions arrangements for the school workforce. The full written ministerial statement is available at: Ministerial Statement 28 October 2010.
The Secretary of State for Education wrote to the SSSNB independent chair on 28 October 2010 confirming the intention to abolish SSSNB using the Education Bill. The Secretary of State withdrew the matters referred to SSSNB by the former Secretary of State (in his referral letter of 29 July 2009). The Department for Education and SSSNB member organisations met in November 2010 and agreed the detailed transitional arrangements which led to legislative provisions taking effect.
The trade union side raised a matter for SSSNB consideration on 25 February 2011 and the SSSNB independent chair called an SSSNB meeting to discuss it. The employer side were not prepared to meet to discuss the matter and the independent chair wrote to all SSSNB member organisations on 4 April 2011 confirming that, in the circumstances, a SSSNB meeting could not take place.
Establishment and operation of the SSSNB
The School Support Staff Negotiating Body (SSSNB) was established by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on 7 July 2009 to negotiate school support staff pay and conditions of employment. It became a statutory body under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act which received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009. The relevant provisions of the Act came into effect on 12 January 2010. Click here for the March 2010 circular on SSSNB and an updated SSSNB interim report (dated 3 March 2010) from the SSSNB independent chair.
SSSNB operated under a constitution and agreed additional procedural arrangements. The Act clauses set out the SSSNB’s remit as covering (a) the remuneration of school support staff or (b) conditions of employment relating to the duties or working time of school support staff.
The body was required to submit negotiated agreements and related guidance for ratification by the Secretary of State. SSSNB’s negotiations were based on a referral letter from the Secretary of State (from 29 July 2009 now withdrawn) which required SSSNB to initially focus on reaching agreements on the following matters:
• Producing a core contract of employment to cover remuneration, duties and working time;
• Designing national job profiles to cover core support staff roles;
• Developing and producing a method for converting those job role profiles into a salary structure; and
• A strategy to effectively implement the national pay and conditions’ framework in all school maintained by local authorities in England including managing both transition and steady state.
Following a review of SSSNB's work programme and a letter from the independent chair of 30.3.10, the Secretary of State on 4.4.10 extended the deadline for submission of agreements from 28 May 2010 to 1 April 2011.
The body covered school support staff employed by local education authorities or governing bodies in maintained schools in England. It excluded school teachers and other staff whose contract of employment is covered by agreements of other bodies (as set out in the SSSNB (Excluded Persons) Regulations 2010).
SSSNB was required to prepare an annual report about the performance of its functions. The report covering 2009 to 2010 can be found here: SSSNB annual report 2010.
SSSNB membership was drawn from:
• Employers – not exceeding 15 members representing the Local Government Association, the Foundation, Aided Schools and Academies National Association, the Church of England Board of Education, and the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales
• Unions – not exceeding 15 members representing Unison, GMB and Unite the Union, and
• The Department for Children, Schools and Families (representing the Secretary of State and since May 2010 the Department for Education) and the Training and Development Agency – both as non-voting members.
The employer side Joint Secretary is Sarah Messenger (Tel 0207 187 7342, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The trade union side Joint Secretaries are:
Unison - Jon Richards (Tel 0207 121 5582 or Email email@example.com),
GMB – Brian Strutton (Tel 020 8971 4255 Email Brian.Strutton@gmb.org.uk) and
Unite the Union – Peter Allenson (Tel 020 7611 2566 Email Peter.Allenson@unitetheunion.com).
The SSSNB was led by an independent chair, Philip Ashmore, appointed by the Secretary of State from September 2008 to 31 January 2012. The independent chair’s role was to ensure that matters referred to the body were negotiated appropriately and effectively and to facilitate the reaching of agreements. The Office of Manpower Economics provided the secretariat to SSSNB from April 2009 to January 2012.
Meeting arrangements. The full body met quarterly between 2009 and 2010. An Executive Group comprising representatives of member organisations met monthly to manage the work programme and prepare recommendations for referral to the full SSSNB. Under the direction of SSSNB and agreed terms of reference, two Working Groups - Core Contract and Working Year and Role Profiles and Job Measurement - undertook detailed work on the Core Contract and Working Year and Role Profiles and Job Measurement.
Separate negotiating machinery for support staff derived initially from the 2003 Workforce Agreement between Government, employers and school workforce unions. The agreement sought to tackle teachers’ workload and recognised the contribution of support staff and their expanding numbers and roles. In 2006, the Support Staff Working Group (a sub group of the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group comprising Government, employers and unions) was tasked by the Minister of State for Schools to undertake detailed work on models for new negotiating machinery, a common contract, standard job descriptions and a method of conversion to salaries, and improved career progression. In September 2008, the Secretary of State announced that the SSSNB would be set up to negotiate pay and conditions of support staff in maintained schools (in England) and it would “give a bigger voice to more than 300,000 school support staff”. The Secretary of State’s referral letter emphasises the “importance of achieving a consistent and coherent pay and conditions structure that brings about national consistency and local flexibility”.
The SSSNB is registered with the Information Commissioner as a data controller. Its registration number is Z1908195. SSSNB’s Freedom of Information Publication Scheme is available here.
For any enquiries, please contact:
Gabrielle Kann, Office of Manpower Economics, 6th Floor, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4AD.
Tel: 020 7271 0494 Fax: 020 7271 0499 Email: Gabrielle.firstname.lastname@example.org