Sunday, 8 May 2016

Are you ready to Vote YES in the NUT’s national strike ballot?

The following message is being sent to NUT members in academy and maintained schools across the London Region:

Dear Colleague, 

Nicky Morgan had to find ‘reverse gear’ after all 
On Friday, our campaign against the White Paper secured a significant achievement. Nicky Morgan announced that her plans to force all schools to become academies by 2022 are being withdrawn.

We should take heart from this climb-down, following other retreats such as that over Baseline Assessment. They show that our campaigning can succeed. Now we need to build a huge YES vote in our upcoming national ballot to see if we can also make the Government rethink over their attacks on teachers’ pay, terms and conditions as well.

A battle won but certainly not the war 

Nicky Morgan has had to take a step back but, be under no illusion; the Government’s intention to convert all schools into academies has certainly not gone away.  

As this article by NUT GS Christine Blower explains, they have simply replaced one forced academisation plan with another, announcing new legislation that would allow them to force entire local authorities to be academised instead. The other provisions of the White Paper also remain, including abolishing QTS and removing parent governors. Our campaign to defend education continues.

Our ballot goes ahead from 23 May 

We can take confidence from our campaign against the White Paper into our separate national trade dispute with the Government. As the Circular sent to all NUT Divisions on Friday stated “at the moment, there are no concessions in terms of protecting terms, conditions and funding. You should continue to build for our ballot".

Teachers' pay, terms and conditions under threat

As this new video by NUT DGS Kevin Courtney explains, Government policy, including the White Paper, threatens teachers in both existing academies and non-academy schools. Further academisation and deregulation jeopardises the continuation of any nationally applicable system of pay and conditions. The Government’s proposed cuts to school budgets would drive down pay levels, cut jobs and increase teacher workload to even greater levels than you face already. We must defeat those threats. 

Update your home address, meet with colleagues
These new developments make it even more important that you and your colleagues are clear about the NUT’s campaign and why we are balloting for strike action.
* Make sure the NUT has your correct home address so you receive your ballot paper promptly
* Encourage your NUT group to hold a school meeting to get ready for the vote
* Look out for local NUT Division meetings in your borough. Some are listed on the NUT website.

Volunteer for the national phone bank
Finally, don’t forget that some schools have no rep to pass on information to members. That’s why the Union is seeking volunteers to help call members in those schools as part of a national phone bank that will be in operation from the start of the ballot period. Receiving a call from another NUT member who understands the issues faced by teachers will make a vital difference in securing the best possible turnout.

Hundreds of you have already offered to assist and, if that’s you, then thanks so much. You will be receiving further details, including a suggested script, soon. If you were planning to help already, or can now agree to do so, then it’s essential you register for security purposes via this link

Thank you for standing up for teachers’ conditions and for children’s education  

Martin Powell-Davies 
London NUT Regional Secretary

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