For the last few weeks we've been concentrating on getting the ballot won. If the ballot result allows the NUT Executive to confirm the June 30 action when we meet on Wednesday, we must then be ready to go all out to build for the biggest turnout possible.
Wandsworth NUT met tonight to discuss what needs to be done. I was there to introduce the discussion as a member of the National Executive. Here are some of the ideas that we came up with:
1. Agree with other striking unions where to assemble locally to go up to the join union Central London demonstration (assembling in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A.)
2. Publicise your assembly point - along with any pickets and/or local rallies that parents and other trade unionists can also attend to show solidarity.
3. Get your committee members ready to ring every school rep as soon as the announcement is made. Pass on details of the agreed assembly points etc.
4. Ask reps to:
a. confirm that members will be taking strike action
b. tell their Head that NUT (and ATL) members will be on strike on June 30
c. let the NUT know as soon as possible if their school will be closing to pupils on the day
d. urge members to attend the demo - and whether they would like to join a picket line too
5. Keep updating a list of schools that are definitely taking action/closing to pupils and pass on the numbers to other reps to encourage them to join in too.
6. Write to local Heads to back up the information that will be sent from the National Union.
7. Write/email to NUT members encouraging them to take part on the day. It might be worth stressing:
a. Not to worry about the usual intimidating letter saying they will be 'in breach of contract' - we will be fully protected by a legal strike ballot.
b. That NUT advice has changed since the last change to pension regulations. We do NOT now have to advise teachers close to retirement to refrain from strike action.
c. You can take strike action whether you voted in the ballot or not - in fact non-members can join the NUT right up to June 30 in order to take action.
d. Some areas may also add details of any local hardship funds collected to help those who will really struggle with the loss of a day's pay for taking action on June 30.
8. Produce and distribute a leaflet to parents explaining why we are going on strike - Wandsworth NUT have already drafted one.
Look out for news on the ballot result and the NUT Executive's decision - then let's build a real show of strength on June 30!