At this afternoon’s meeting of the NUT National Executive, a motion was unanimously agreed that started to build on the motions passed at TUC Congress supporting co-ordinated national strike action.
The NUT agreed to write to other TUC affiliates to explore the practicalities of building joint action on pay, pensions and jobs.
The motion also called on NUT negotiators to firm up and clarify with the NASUWT how we can build from the action short of strike action that both the NUT and NASUWT are engaged in at present, and start to set dates for a programme of national strike action. This will be vital given the serious further attacks that could soon be coming – on top of the attacks we already face – from the Public Service Pensions Bill and from the attacks on pay likely to be included in the report to soon be issued by the School Teachers’ Review Body.
No specific proposed dates for action were agreed, but progress on these discussions will be reported to the next meeting of the NUT Executive in early November.
The full text of the motion is as follows:
The executive welcomes the positive news about the implementation of action short strike action and the positive engagement from many school reps. We believe that this shows the benefits of the two largest teachers unions working together.
We call on the Secretary of State to meet and resolve the disputes with both unions. Failing that the executive agrees to do all in its power to advance the action and looks forward to the joint meetings in the regions with NASUWT executive members.
The Executive notes that the threat represented by the pensions bill which will receive its second reading on 22 October and continues to believe that teachers should not have to work to 68 or pay increased contributions for a pension scheme that has still not had the valuation done.
We further note the serious threats to teacher pay arrangements, which may for example result in serious reductions in the ability to move up the pay spine and even the possibility of headteachers reducing the pay of teachers, represented by the secretary of state’s remit and evidence to the STRB.
The Executive expresses its willingness to work seriously with the NASUWT to build the confidence of the members of both unions for further phases of our campaign including an escalation to a programme of strike action in order to defend teachers against these threats and recognises that this escalation will be needed if we are to prevent these attacks on teachers.
Given these serious and imminent threats to pensions and pay, and noting:
• the success of the non-strike action in boosting confidence and union activity
• the strong support achieved in the latest NUT ballots for both non-strike and strike action
• the decision of the TUC to support coordinated strike action against cuts in pensions, pay and jobs,
the NUT Executive resolves that:
1. The NUT negotiating team should urgently meet with the NASUWT to explain that the NUT believes that it is now time to discuss the circumstances in which joint strike action will be called and to consider when we set dates to commence a programme of national strike action;
2. The GS writes to other TUC affiliates, particularly those in the TUCG, to explore the practicalities of a co-ordinated programme of strike action on pay, pensions and jobs.
3. The GS and negotiating team will report on progress to the November Executive.