UNISON's local government industrial action ballot in England, Wales and Northern Ireland  will start on 23 May after members overwhelmingly rejected the employers' 1% pay offer.

The ballot will last four weeks, ending on 23 June.  

Members will be asked if they are prepared to take strike action. If there is a 'yes' vote and the union's industrial action committee gives the green light, industrial action will start in July.

See also: The NUT could delay its plans for a national strike to allow teachers to take action alongside support staff, TES has learned.

In case you have not noticed yet, our Downloads area has been restored back to the TecHKnow website. We had to remove it last year due to technical issues. However, these have now been resolved.

The purpose of the downloads area is to allow colleagues to put up ANY professional technical document that you wish to make available for other colleagues to use. We see plenty of examples of Practical recipes, application forms, flyers etc., that colleagues would like to get hold of and exchange. Now you can through this website feature.

For the moment, if there is any document (eg., pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, txt etc., sorry no picture files) that you want to allow others to be able to download and access then please PM me in the first instance and I will arrange for this to be placed on this area. Alternatively you can email me your document to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. but please also send me a PM first to advise me about this.

While it is possible for you do to do this yourself, it is quite complex and I thought that for the present, I will be happy to handle this part myself on your behalf. All previous documents that were contained in this area up until last year are safe. i will restore these when I get a chance over the next few months.

Don’t forget, you can still place any information or help with any practicals or indeed technical advice, guidance, pearls of wisdom at any time across on our TecHKnow Wiki area.

Schools have the opportunity – and a responsibility – to engage their students through inspiring science and maths teaching. Teaching should enable students to achieve their best in these high-stakes core subjects and open up future learning and employment opportunities.

There has now been published a set of  questions, produced by the Wellcome Trust in consultation with experts from scientific, mathematics and education communities, including the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education, Campaign for Science and Engineering, Education Endowment Foundation, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Institute of Physics, the National Governors’ Association, National Science Learning Centre, Royal Society of Chemistry and many other organisations.

You can check out the site and the questions from here…

These questions have been developed to facilitate conversations between school governors, headteachers and teachers about science and maths education. This might also be useful for those battling the need for more technicians, CPD for technicians and a general improvement in the science department.

 

LMGTFY (Let Me Google That For You) is a website that creates a demonstration of how to conduct a user-specified Google search. 

The site was designed as a service to tech-savvy people who are frequently asked for help doing research. The purpose is to gently, if somewhat sarcastically, point out that the person who asked for help could easily search for the information themselves. 

Here's how it works: On the LMGTFY website, type or copy the question into the search box. A link is generated to a demonstration of a Google search for that information, which can then be shared with the person who asked the question.

Other version are available such as Let Me Wikipedia That For You and Let Me Bing That For You!!

A Job vacancy has now arisen within St Colman’s College in Northern Ireland for a technician to work in Physics and Chemistry. Full details regarding this position including an application form can be found on the College’s website http://www.stcolmans.org.uk/

The job is full time at £8.3776 - £8.9658 per hour - NJC Scale pts 14 - 17 (starting on the first point).  Starting date to be arranged. 

Essential Criteria

  • A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at Grade C or higher (including English Language, Maths and a minimum of 1 science subject), or equivalent qualifications as recognised by the SELB; and
  • Knowledge of the rules and regulations relating to Health & Safety in the Laboratory.

Desirable Criteria

  • A minimum of 6 months’ experience of working as a Science Technician;
  • I.C.T. competence;
  • Good team member, ability to show initiative, reliable and responsible;
  • Ability to give attention to detail and be accurate;
  • Ability to relate well with others;
  • Willingness to undertake further training.
  • A-Level qualification or equivalent in Physics and/or Chemistry 

If someone at work has thanked you for doing a job lately then you are in a happy minority according to research by Monster.co.uk (of 2000 employees and 500 employers) which found that more than half of employees (58%) feel they do not get thanked enough at work. And that leaves most (54%) feeling under-appreciated and many (41%) demotivated.  Those employees questioned said that, as some form of compensation for never being thanked for the work that they did, they would want to be paid an extra £134 a month – or £1608 a year. There are variations regionally around the UK. Even doing voluntary unpaid work, when an employer thanks his staff or treats them correctly this is translated into extra productive hours and more attention to the actual job itself

Corinne Sweet, organisational behaviour psychologist, explained: "Saying thank you is priceless at work, as employees would rather receive appreciation than extra cash. This is because "thanks" is a positive reinforcement of hard effort and productivity, in behavioural terms."

Computer users across the globe are being strongly urged to change all their online passwords, including online banking, email and certain websites because of something called the Heartbleed Bug. The bug was only revealed recently to the media but experts have been aware of this for quite some time. It affects website that use a feature known as OpenSSL.

This is a popular cryptographic library used to digitally scramble sensitive data as it passes to and from computer servers so that only the service provider and the intended recipients can make sense of it. You will know if a website uses OpenSSL because a padlock will appear on your browser to indicate that data sent between your computer and, for example, your bank, pay pal, face book account details is scrambled – therefore secure. However, hackers have managed to take advantage of a flaw in the OpenSSL code and therefore could, in certain circumstances, be able to read sensitive information that passes between the two computers. Here are some tips for choosing a password..

No pet's names Hackers can find out a lot about you from social media

No dictionary words Hackers can precalculate the encrypted forms of whole dictionaries and easily reverse engineer your password.

Mix unusual characters try a word or phrase where characters are substituted - Myd0gha2B1g3ars!

Have multiple passwords If hackers compromise one system, they won't be able to access other accounts.

Keep them safely Don't write them down - use a secure password vault on your phone

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