18 June 2013
The NUT and NASUWT strike in the North West next Thursday 27th June is the first day of a programme of regional action followed by at least one day of national strike action in November. The strikes have been called in response to the Government’s proposal of performance related pay for teachers which is due to start this September. It is absolutely essential that the strike and the rallies are strong and successful so that Gove and the Coalition get the message that teachers will not allow their pay and conditions to be destroyed.
This attack on teachers’ pay is just the latest in an onslaught of threats to state education. The Coalition has already: attacked teachers’ pensions; changed legislation to allow non qualified staff to teach in academies and free schools; forced schools to become academies; changed the framework for school inspections so that two of the four categories are now regarded as “failing”; changed the pass grade boundaries for English GCSE last year without notice meaning thousands of students got lower grades than predicted and they want to bring back rote learning and a history curriculum based on the British Empire.
However, we have fought back and defeated some of their proposals. Gove’s attempt to replace GCSE with the elitist EBC exam was fought by a broad coalition which included trade unions and advocates for the arts and he was forced to abandon the plans. He was also forced to U-turn on his proposal to remove Mary Seacole from the history curriculum.
The fight for teachers’ terms and conditions must be seen as part of the wider fight for state education and the public sector. Gove has said he sees no issue with running schools for a profit and it is obvious he is trying to make schools attractive to private business.
Try to get your trade union/comunity group/campaign banner to one of the marches or rallies on 27th June:
Manchester: March 10am from City Centre to rally in Whitworth Park at 11am
Preston: Rally 11am at Flag Market
Liverpool: Assemble 9.30am Pier Head for march to rally at St George’s Hall at 11am
Chester: Rally 11am at Racecourse
Solidarity we can all deliver
NUT groups around the country are twinning with striking schools. In Wakefield they are sending toy bears with mini placards to the schools they are twinned with.
Send solidarity photos from your union branch, workplace group etc. Halesowen college srikers received hundreds of solidarity pictures and were boosted by the support.
Send a delegation to picket lines, local rallies and protests.
London Solidarity protest
In London there will be a major solidarity protest with the action in the North West on Tuesday 25 June, assembling at 5pm at the Plaza outside Westminster Cathedral, Victoria