Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A message of support to the May 10 strikers

Thursday's national strike in defence of pensions by up to 500,000 public sector workers across PCS, UCU, UNITE Health, NIPSA, plus some RMT members, will send another message to the Government - already reeling from their election defeats - that trade unionists are not going to accept paying more, to work longer, and to get less when we eventually do get to retire.

Like many other NUT Associations, Lewisham NUT's members' meeting unanimously agreed to send solidarity - including a £100 donation to each of the three strike funds - to local colleagues in UNITE, PCS and UCU and are calling on our members to visit local picket lines on the way to work. Teachers are not on strike tomorrow but some, including myself, will join the demonstration outside St.Thomas' Hospital at 12.00 and march over the river to the strike rally in Westminster.

Teachers will also be holding their own picket of the Department of Education after work at 5.30 pm in Great Smith Street, Westminster to protest against the first wage cuts owing to increased pension contributions imposed last month. It's also part of the joint-union "68 is too late" campaign

The solid action taken by London NUT members on March 28 encouraged strikers to take action on May 10. In turn, the PCS/UNITE/UCU action will encourage NUT members to take further action ourselves.

We know that the message that striking colleagues on May 10 really want to hear is that the NUT will be joining them in the next action, as we step up our united fight to oppose pensions robbery. The NUT Executive will be meeting during the strike, in the afternoon of on May 10. I, alongside others, will again be calling for the NUT to declare that it will be taking further national strike action in June.

Together, we can - and must - defeat both this Government's outrageous robbery of pensions and the cuts and privatisation of the services that we know our young people and communities so desperately need.

Martin Powell-Davies

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