Wednesday, 26 June 2013

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - June 27 is when we start to push Gove back

"Enough is enough" sums up the mood of teachers across the country. We've had enough of Gove's attacks on teachers and education - and that's why, on June 27, tens of thousands of NUT and NASUWT members across the North-West of England will be on strike.

JUNE 27 UPDATE from Liverpool NUT: The support for the strike is tremendous. 142 schools in the city are totally closed, just 22 partially open (mainly where ATL have members), and only 3 are largely unaffected. There is a similar solid response right across Merseyside !

Today's Spending Review announcements only confirm that this Government is going to 'carry on cutting'. School budgets won't really be 'protected'. No, it will be another year when jobs will be threatened, support for students will be cut and, thanks to performance-related pay, schools will look to balance their books by blocking teachers' pay-rises. The Department of Education's overall budget is being cut by 1%.  

"Enough is enough" was also the suggestion put forward by a member of the NUT LGBT Advisory Committee as a working title for November's LGBT Conference, encompassing the anger of all teachers, but of LGBT teachers in particular. For, just as was also pointed out by Black teachers at the Southwark NUT AGM that I attended tonight, performance-pay will inevitably mean discrimination and injustice.

Injustice will be a thread running through the TUC LGBT Conference that I will be attending over the next two days at TUC Congress House. I hope to be able to speak on the international debates in particular, to highlight the Turkish government's attacks on trade union rights, but also on the rights of women and LGBT rights too.

As I concluded in a report from that international visit (see video on: ) often the best way to show solidarity is to build your own successful struggles at home. June 27 2013 needs to be remembered as the date when we started, once again, to build a struggle to stop Michael Gove wrecking education and wrecking teachers' lives. Except, this time, we need to continue the strike programme until we succeed!

The teacher who suggested that title of "enough is enough" was travelling back tonight to the North-West. Along with tens of thousands of other colleagues, she will be on strike on June 27. 

Back in London, those of us in the NUT delegation at the LGBT Conference will be wearing our green NUT 'Standing Up for Education" T-shirts in solidarity with Emma and all her colleagues. I'll be calling on all TUC unions to give their solidarity too - but also to start making plans for us to all strike together to defeat this Government's attacks.

 (... and thanks to Southwark NUT and City of Leicester NUT for adding their names to the list of Associations nominating me to stand for NUT Vice-President at their meetings tonight )

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