Friday 16 March 2012

A letter to NUT members - strike on March 28!

I have sent this letter to Lewisham NUT members tonight:

Dear NUT member

I am writing to confirm that a joint strike of NUT teachers and UCU lecturers across London HAS been confirmed for March 28 as part of an ongoing joint-union national campaign to defend public sector pensions.

The announcement of the London strike has already hit the news. I've just seen an article on the Telegraph website and heard our strike announced on the BBC News Headlines. This is just what we intended our action to achieve - to make the Government realise that they have NOT won on pensions and that the battle to stop their pensions robbery is still very much on!

We CAN'T work until we're 68 - and we're not going to let this Government force people to do so - or alternatively be forced into retiring 'early' into poverty or dropping-out of the pensions scheme altogether.

We Londoners have been given the job of spearheading the campaign - and we have a responsibility to seize this opportunity and show our strength on March 28. There will be a central London march and rally - hopefully ending up outside the Department of Education so we can tell Mr. Gove that we're not putting up with pensions robbery nor all the rest of his attacks on our pay, conditions and education!

London NUT has been chosen because we are the fastest-growing and best-organised region of the NUT. We are also going to be the hardest-hit as the tiered contribution increases mean that teachers on London pay scales will have more stolen from our salaries than anyone else this April. We need every London NUT member to be on strike on March 28.

Our colleagues around the country are also expecting to be called out on strike next term - either nationally or regionally depending on what NUT Conference decides over Easter. I will certainly argue that the next step should be joint national action but, for now, we in London have this chance to show everyone the way ahead on March 28. A solid strike can give confidence to every NUT member - and to all those members of other teaching and non-teaching unions who are still holding back - to join us in action again next term.

Teachers outside London are wishing us every success. I've already had messages of support in from Liverpool, Calderdale, Buckinghamshire, Wakefield, Oxford and more. We plan to 'twin' London Associations with other parts of the country so that they can link with us up to and on the day - including sending in donations to support hardship funds to support London teachers taking action on March 28.

Lewisham has already gratefully accepted an offer of 'twinning' from City of Leicester - and there may be more 'twins' or even ‘triplets’ to add too!

  • I will send out more news and information - e.g on the confirmed demonstration plans - as I get it.
  • The National Union will be sending out the official legal notifications to schools next week.
  • We are happy to come into school meetings where we can - and I already have some meetings booked for next week.
  • Please also attend our AGM on Monday March 26 at 5pm where we can make final plans and answer remaining queries about activities, picket lines etc on the day....
As ever, keep in touch

All eyes are on us now in London - let's show them that we stand strong together!

Martin Powell-Davies, Secretary, Lewisham NUT

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