The following motion was agreed unanimously at tonight's Lewisham NUT General Meeting:
Lewisham NUT welcomes the fact that trade unions, students and local communities are starting to organise against the austerity package demanded by this millionaire Con-Dem government which, if implemented, would mean:
* mass privatisation of services
* over a million job cuts
* a tripling of student fees
* drastic cuts to welfare benefits
* attacks on national pay and conditions
* making workers pay more to retire older for less pension
We believe that these cuts will only be defeated by powerful united action led by the trade unions, and backed up together with campaigns of service users, welfare claimants, students, pensioners and others.
We applaud the decision of the NUT National Executive to bring to the December meeting of the Executive a timetable of campaigning and action to take place before the Hutton Commission produces its final report in Spring 2011 which includes:
i) The production and distribution of campaigning materials for use with members and the public;
ii) Plans for meetings, rallies demonstrations and lobbying activities;
iii) A ballot for strike action to take place in the spring term.
We are pleased that the Union is seeking the maximum co-ordination with other public sector unions in all of the above activities and call on Lewisham NUT members to:
a) encourage members of other trade unions to call on their national unions to support co-ordinated action with the NUT and other unions.
b) call meetings in their schools to explain the decision of the NUT Executive and to prepare for a ballot in the Spring Term, including updating membership lists and home addresses.
We congratulate the NUS and UCU for the excellent turnout of over 50,000 at the demonstration against cuts and the increase in tuition fees on November 10th but are angered by the attempts by the Evening Standard to falsely accuse members of Goldsmiths UCU of supporting ‘violent protest’.
We agree with the Goldsmiths UCU Executive that “it is deeply ironic that a statement put out as a counter to the largely misrepresentative media coverage of the demonstration was itself severely misrepresented” and endorse the original statement’s view that:
“the real violence in this situation relates not to a smashed window but to the destructive impact of the cuts and privatisation that will follow if tuition fees are increased and if massive reductions in HE funding are implemented” and that “today’s events demonstrate the deep hostility in the UK towards the cuts proposed in the Comprehensive Spending Review. We hope that this marks the beginning of a sustained defence of public services and welfare provision as well as education”.
We believe that trade union industrial action has a central role to play in that campaign and congratulate members of the FBU, RMT and TSSA for the action that they have taken in London in defence of their jobs and our services. In solidarity, we agree to pay a total of £500 to the hardship funds of the three unions made up of £200 to the FBU, £200 to the RMT and £100 to the TSSA.