Thursday 20 September 2007


Martin drove south to speak at NUT meetings in both Lewes and Brighton on Tuesday September 18th and came away with two further nominations from these NUT Associations.

Martin pointed to the stories posted on the National Union’s website from teachers already struggling to pay their bills. One had calculated that their heavy workload and low salary translated into an hourly rate of less than £5. Another pointed out how teachers tell their students to work hard to get a university degree so that they can get better paid – then find that their own experience makes them wonder whether it was worth it! No wonder so many teachers were leaving the profession – especially in the South-East where the cost of housing was so high.

But he particularly pointed to the comments posted by a Surrey teacher: “It's time the NUT joined with other unions and called for more serious action to raise teacher's pay - not just petitioning the government or doing a paper vote, we need strike action to be effective or more effective campaigning. If you don't show power in numbers, then it is pointless and the government will just ignore campaigns. Then the Unions will lose support of members who will feel they are not doing their job and our hard earned, and ill afforded subscriptions, paid to date would have been wasted. Please, please do something soon before I am forced to leave teaching due to financial reasons”.

That viewpoint would be echoed by many frustrated NUT members. We had promised to ballot on pay – so what were we waiting for?

Martin’s message that the Union had to show its members that it was serious - by organising firm national action - struck a chord with the classroom teachers present and helped win him two further nominations.

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