Monday 16 January 2012

Lewisham NUT votes for further strike action

30 members at tonight's Lewisham NUT General meeting voted unanimously to support the Union's opposition to the Heads of Agreement and for further strike action on pensions.

I used case studies from the newly revised NUT pensions calculator - now updated to show the affect of the Heads of Agreement ( to explain that the 'deal' was no better than what we had all taken united action against in November. It still meant pay more, get less and, for all but the oldest teachers, retire older. 

After a full and considered discussion, the meeting voted for the motion (posted in the previous blog post) calling on the National Executive to draw up plans for further strike action. Reps also agreed to take that motion back to their schools and to try and get it discussed - and hopefully agreed - in as many schools as possible. 

Reps also agreed to urge members to complete the latest NUT survey asking members' views on the Union's opposition to the Government's shoddy 'deal'.

There was anger expressed at UNISON in particular, and regret that the ATL and NAHT had signed as well. However, there was a determination that we had to fight on and that we could still build significant action by bringing the remaining unions together.

There was a good discussion about what and when that action should be, with the strengths and weaknesses of a work-to-rule, half-day and and rolling action being discussed. However, the general conclusion drawn by most there was that we needed a 'calendar of action' of when we would be likely to take national action in February and March. 

Reps were aware of the financial pressures on staff but felt that we had to show we had a serious program of action if members were to see that the sacrifice was worth taking - and that with a 'calendar' teachers could more easily prepare ahead for the salary losses they would face through strike action.

It was a determined meeting - and confirmed to me that the fight on pensions is far from over.

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