... war is declared! .... or at least, the next phase in the ongoing pensions action has been called - with NUT and UCU members going on strike across London on March 28. Now we need your urgent moral and financial support!
Call for national action next...
Many teachers outside London - who also voted by a big majority to support strike action on pensions - will be disappointed that they haven't also been given the chance to take action alongside us here in the capital on March 28. Unfortunately for them, a majority of the NUT Executive chose to start with regional action first.
If you feel that national action was the better strategy - as I do - then do meet to send in motions saying that your school and Association is also ready to strike - and call on your NUT Conference delegates and NUT Executive members to support motions calling for national strike action next term. However, the best way of guaranteeing that Conference has the confidence to call that action is to help those of us in London make sure that our March 28 action is a big success!
... but start by supporting the London strike!
We have just over a week to build the strike across London. The main task will fall on the shoulders of London NUT Divsional Officers, supported by the National Union. However, there's lots that NUT members outside London can do to help. Support from outside London - moral and financial - will be really valuable in building the strike. That could include having a lunchtime rally at your school on the day in solidarity with the London strike.
Messages of support that we can send in to schools next week will help raise confidence that the whole movement is behind us. Any messages sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org will be passed on to other London colleagues.
Donations to hardship funds will also be very welcome. Don't believe the propaganda about high-paid teachers! Some London teachers, particularly young staff saddled with student debt and paying high rents, are already really struggling with the high cost of living in the capital. For them, losing a day's pay by going on strike is a real sacrifice. Therefore, urgent promises of financial support will also be a real boost.
We know that teachers nationally will also be putting money aside in preparation for going on strike themselves next term, but a few pounds from everyone now will make a real difference to building the London strike. If you're not a teacher, then your collections and trade union donations will also be much appreciated!
Unfortunately, there isn't a central account for payments, as hardship funds are organised through individual borough NUT Associations. I would be very happy to accept donations to 'Lewisham Teachers Association' and I am sure our local officers would be happy to then pass on some of that support to other Associations too.
Link your school or NUT Association with a 'twin' in London
Organisation of that moral and financial support is being strengthened by linking NUT Associations outside London with twins in the capital. Hounslow is already linked with the Rhondda, Tower Hamlets with Wakefield, Leicester with Lewisham and so on. If you want to make the same links, again, get in touch. London NUT Executive members will make sure you have a twin so that you can send individual messages of support to school reps in that area and pay-in directly to their local hardship fund.
Let's make sure the London action is a huge success so that the Government and the whole trade union movement gets a clear message - the battle on pensions is far from over!
Watch out Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and Gove - we're on the march again!