Two small but significant victories for Lewisham NUT have shown how an organised response - and the threat of union action - can achieve success in fighting the threat of cuts and redundancies.
Today, just as a ballot for strike action was about to be issued to NUT members at Deptford Green School over the threat to issue a redundancy notice to a member in the Art Department, the school agreed that it would, after all, be able to redeploy the teacher internally. Previously, our demands to find continuing work within the school had been rejected.
This victory undoubtedly owed much to the impending strike ballot and the clear determination shown by members at last night's NUT school meeting to organise for an overwhelming majority for action.
This follows last week's news that the Council would be saving the posts threatened to be cut from the nationally-renowned Lewisham Early Years Advice and Resource Network. This follows a public campaign to safeguard this vital resource coupled with an indicative ballot of NUT members across Local Authority schools and workplaces which produced an 86% Yes vote in support of Authority-wide strike action.
There are more battles to come - including continuing threats to Children's Centres and to oppose the redundancy of an NUT member at another secondary school. Ballot papers are going out to NUT members at Forest Hill School this week but staff have already shown their support in a 60-strong rally held on Friday lunchtime which was well-publicised in the local press.
We hope these victories can give confidence to Forest Hill staff - and others - to stand firm to oppose cuts and redundancies.