The news that UNISON's strike is definitely ON must now be the signal for school union reps and their colleagues to go all out to build for the biggest possible joint action on July 10 - in the knowledge that there is a good chance that further unions like GMB and PCS will be announcing that they will be joining us on strike too.
Now the strike action has been called, we have to make sure it is as well-supported as possible. Teachers can help encourage support staff to take action - and vice versa. Together, we can build a strike of over a million public sector workers. We should rally together on the day in united mass demos to raise confidence and hit the headlines. For example, Trafalgar Square is being booked in London for a strike rally.
We must also get our message across to the public. The NUT is producing new leaflets for parents. In response to a letter that I sent to Headteachers in Lewisham this morning, asking them to resist pressure that may be put on them to undermine our action, I have already had some Heads agree to order leaflets to explain to parents why the strike is taking place.
As I explained in the letter: "we hope you will be able to help us explain to parents that we are acting to defend not just staff pensions, pay and conditions but also to defend education as a whole. The demoralising effect of Government policies threatens the long-term stability of school staffing. Last week’s Review Body report spoke of “the risk of those in the profession feeling under-valued and recruitment and retention suffering as a consequence”. At the same time, we see Gove’s meddling in the curriculum and decision-making by Ofsted, and the excessive spending on free schools while the school place crisis continues. The NUT will be producing parents’ leaflets explaining these points – please let the NUT Office know if you would like copies sent to you".
The letter can be downloaded from the Lewisham NUT website via http://local.teachers.org.uk/templates/asset-relay.cfm?frmAssetFileID=12723
Get Together to Strike Together:
Come to the 8th Annual NSSN Conference on Saturday July 5th – ‘What recovery? We want our share! Fight Together for a Pay Rise! – Break the pay freeze, fight for a real living wage, oppose zero-hour contracts, fight for PAYE’.
It will be on from 11am-5pm in Conway Hall – 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – delegate/visitor fee £6. Confirmed speakers include Ronnie Draper BFAWU bakers’ union General Secretary, POA General Secretary Steve Gillan, Janice Godrich PCS President and Peter Pinkney RMT President…plus a speaker from the victorious Seattle $15Now campaign!!
Confirmed workshops include:-
- Fast food rights/zero-hour contracts/living wage/$15Now
- Fighting NHS cuts
- Construction: fighting the umbrella scam and blacklisting
- Political representation for workers after the Collins Review
- Housing workers fighting back