On Friday evening, over 100 NUT conference delegates from a range of different Local Associations met to discuss the pensions campaign in preparation for Saturday’s key debate.
That meeting discussed and agreed the ‘third’ amendment to the pensions priority motion, which set out a specific calendar of action for next term, starting with national strike action on May 10, alongside PCS, UNITE and other trade unions. Regrettably, and to the anger of many delegates, that amendment was not allowed to be voted on in full. Conference did, at least, agree the remainder of the amendment which said that "we urgently approach other unions who have not accepted the government's final proposals to seek support for this plan of action, and to urgently announce the confirmed calendar of action to our members and the press". But when will that confirmed calendar of action be announced?
Many delegates went away from that pensions debate confused and unclear what we are expected to tell our NUT colleagues when we return to our schools.
Fortunately, the media have reported that the NUT are set on a course of continuing action. On paper, we have indeed voted for a "further programme of targeted local or regional strikes in the summer term, aiming to organise a further one day national strike before the end of June". However, no specific dates have been set and no specific regions have announced their action.
There is far too much at stake to let this critical pensions struggle just peter out in defeat. Our members can’t afford to have their pay cut, their pensions ages raised to 68 and more, nor to hand an unnecessary victory to this divided Government.
There is now an urgent need for the Union to agree a clear calendar of action that makes clear to our members - and to the Government - that we are serious about winning this battle.
A DATE YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR DIARY: LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS CONFERENCE SATURDAY 16 JUNE
Some of the Local Associations who have backed the Friday fringe meeting have also called a one-day Conference on June 16 to help build and organise the campaign on pensions - and on other key issues.
This meeting is not called by any of the ‘groups’ in the Union but is called by NUT Associations who want to help build a Union that is serious about fighting the attacks facing teachers and education.
We welcome sponsorship and support from other NUT Local Associations.