St Mary’s Academy Trust

This page is for NEU members who work in St Marys Academy Trust. For information on St Marys Academy Trust click here.

Updates on our Negotiations with St Marys St Marys Academy Trust Trust

Our aim is to create a Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee (JCNC) to enable clear and transparent negotiations over polices that directly affect you.

We are in the middle of negotiating the constitution for the JCNC but these are the very basic key principles agreed by the NAHT, ATL, NASUWT, UNISON, Unite and GMB.

Trade union recognition and facilities

  • existing trade union recognition transfers to the St Marys Academy Trust and recognition should extend to all new employees
  • an undertaking that the following unions – ATL, NAHT, NASUWT and NUT – will be recognised for teaching staff and that the following unions – GMB, UNISON and Unite –will be recognised for support and other professional staff
  • an undertaking to permit and assist trade union organisation and activity and support trade union facilities
  • an agreement to time off for St Marys Academy Trust union representatives
  • an agreement to provide access to facilities (e.g. meeting rooms) for day-to-day trade union activities
  • an agreement to participate in trade union facilities arrangements made by local agreement, including release time for St Marys Academy Trust employees
  • an agreement that arrangements should exist for the deduction and transfer of union subscriptions through payroll.

Consultation and negotiation

  • an undertaking to consult and negotiate with trade unions on matters affecting employees’ employment and terms and conditions beyond the statutory requirements
  • an agreement that there should be regular meetings between managers and union representatives in a JCNC
  • an agreement that union representatives may, where they consider it necessary, be accompanied by local/regional trade union officers and officials at such meetings; and at any hearings involving union members
  • an agreement that, where any disputes arise between the St Marys Academy Trust and trade unions, either side may involve ACAS and the “status quo” will be maintained while this happens

Trade union membership

  • an agreement that the St Marys Academy Trust will encourage all staff to become members of the appropriate union at the time of appointment
  • an agreement that academies will provide the trade unions with details of the names/workplaces of new staff on request.

These are the very basic standards; as it currently stands all of the trade unions have rejected the many amendments made by SMAT. It is crucial that we have a fair, democratic and transparent agreement and structure; we will keep you updated on any progress.

Get Involved:

We will be electing a ‘Lead Rep’ for St Marys Academy Trust so please let us know if you would like more information. The Lead Rep will sit on the Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee with another NEU staff/division secretary to negotiate and consult with SMAT. You do not need to be an expert in negotiation or have any prior experience; you just need to be passionate about fairness, equality, justice and education.

We will be coming to visit all schools again in the Summer term.


(NEU) NUT Meeting with Saint Mary’s Academy Trust – Friday 30th September

St Mary’s Academy Trust is now the largest Multi Academy Trust (MAT) within Barnsley and the NEU has members in every school, making your MAT my priority.

As your new division secretary I wanted to ascertain your views around how SMAT consults and works with staff. I have been in to visit several SMAT schools and spoken to a large number of teachers.

On Friday the 30th September I met with Jo Hudson (SMAT HR), Melanie Priestley (Director of Finance & Staffing) and Rebecca Marsh (Acting Executive Principle). We are all keen to have and maintain good industrial relations and therefore SMAT supports my aim to meet as many teachers as possible through school meetings. If a meeting has not taken place in your school please contact me as soon as possible

One of the main topics of conversation during my meeting with SMAT was how to create a structure that fully represents teachers and enables all unions to negotiate.

I am currently organising a joint meeting with other Trade Unions before arranging a second meeting with SMAT to build upon the positive relationship that we have established.

In order to represent you, I need to know your thoughts. Your union does not just arrange meetings when teachers have problems; all relationships thrive through good communication, including work relationships. Your union is here to support and facilitate this communication.

If you would like to get involved, find out more or have any queries or questions please contact me.



To help arrange a school meeting please contact:

Nicola Fitzpatrick:

Emma Hardy: