This Government may have hoped that they were going to get away with their savage cuts to jobs, services and pensions without a serious fight. They were wrong.
The massive turnout on the March 26 demonstration gave the Con-Dems a clear warning that they had better back off. A united national strike of teachers and other workers - with the threat of further action to come - will send an even stronger message !
Thursday June 30 - pencilled in for the first strike day - should see around three-quarters of a million - NUT and ATL teachers, lecturers in UCU, civil servants in PCS - on strike to defend their pensions. We also have to make clear that this could be just the start. If the Con-Dems won’t back down, we must escalate our strike action next term - with other unions like the NAHT then joining in too.
Unions should make plans now for local joint union rallies in the lead-up to the strike and for big regional demonstrations on June 30. Invites should go out to other unions and anti-cuts campaigners to come along too. We must explain that a victory over pensions can help give confidence to everyone else fighting against cuts to their jobs, conditions and services as well.
First of all, the ATL and NUT must win their strike ballots. Let’s win them with such a decisive majority - and with a solid turnout - that there can be no doubt as to the determination of teachers to fight this blatant robbery. Ballot papers will be posted to home addresses from May 17 onwards. Make sure you send back your YES vote straight away. But don’t just remember your own vote - make sure all your colleagues are voting too!
Call a school union meeting. Why not hold it in the ICT room so that colleagues can log on to the ‘pensions loss calculator’ on the national NUT website to see exactly how much they stand to lose!
Keep a register! Have a list of NUT and ATL members in your school ready. Tick-off who has received their ballot paper - and, above all, who has sent it back. Keep reminding everyone to vote until the YES ‘marks’ are all back in !
Remind colleagues in other schools to vote too. Pop in to a nearby school; remind your facebook friends; send an e-mail, text or tweet - whatever it takes to get the message far and wide - VOTE YES TO DEFEND YOUR PENSION!