There's just one week left for NUT members to respond to the pensions survey - and just three weeks - if all goes to plan - until we take strike action alongside other public sector unions on March 28.
If the mood at the meeting I attended tonight at a Lewisham primary school is anything to go by, then there is no doubt that teachers will be striking solidly on March 28.
Teachers were definitely voting YES YES for action. The main discussion was about what follows next. What will make the Tories think again? The idea of a two or three day strike was definitely supported. Of course this then led to the question of hardship - and how to collect funds to make sure no teacher felt unable to strike because of finance worries. Other important questions were discussed too such as: 'Would NASUWT members join the NUT so they can strike too?' and 'How do we get our message across to parents?'
While we wait for the survey outcome, provisional plans are also being made for March 28 itself. Instead of just repeating the 2011 strikes' Central London demonstrations, the NUT and PCS are also considering demos that target some of the leading Con-Dem politicians. That could mean marching in some selected parts of London, and making our protests visible to more Londoners too. However, no final plans have been made as yet.
The survey turnout could be crucial!
The campaign we have waged over months means that teachers know that we are right to oppose paying more, to get less and to retire older. Even in the new situation we face after the 'Heads of Agreement', that's why I think we'll get a positive YES YES vote - but we have to make sure we get the votes in!
Workload will be a big reason why teachers may not yet have voted. For many colleagues, it's just another job amongst the of dozens of tasks they've got to do. We need to make sure they put the survey up to the top of that list of jobs!
Saturday is the last day to safely return a vote by post but NUT members can use their voting codes to text or use the web to cast their votes right up until Wednesday. That's why we need to keep urging NUT members to vote right up to the end.
One of my science teaching colleagues knew her survey was still 'on the piano' (of course Antonella!) but that's at least one more vote that will now be found and returned !There must be many more surveys similarly waiting to be sent off!
Get those votes back by Wednesday - YES to stop the pensions robbery, YES to action on March 28 and beyond!
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