Tuesday 17 April 2012

May 10 set for joint national action - what about the NUT?

The PCS National Executive have announced a plan of joint strike action alongside other unions in defence of pensions, starting with a national strike on May 10.

Regrettably, although I spoke at NUT Annual Conference making clear that this was the likely plan, and warned that the NUT would be letting down both our members and members of other unions if we did not participate in this action, there is, as yet, no commitment from the NUT to take part in this May 10 strike either nationally or regionally.

Let's hope that when the emergency meeting of the NUT National Executive takes place next week, the NUT can come on board as well - preferably nationally - or at least with some co-ordinated regional action on May 10. 

At the very least, we need a clear commitment to taking national action in June when the PCS suggest they might be looking to take further action.

Here is the PCS statement:

National executive agrees plans for ongoing action

17 April 2012
The union's national executive this afternoon unanimously agreed a programme of ongoing action, starting with national strikes over pensions co-ordinated with other unions on 10 May and at the end of June.
The action across the civil service, health and education, will include joint national strikes; national, regional and local protests; lobbying of ministers, MPs and other politicians; and co-ordinated, targeted industrial action in employer groups and sectors.
The plans are designed to help build the maximum possible level of co-ordination between unions in the weeks and months ahead, to press the government for more meaningful negotiations.
Following our ballot result – in which 90.5% voted to reject the government's pensions offer and 72.1% voted for a programme of further action – we wrote to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude requesting genuine negotiations but, as yet, have not received a reply.
Since March we have successfully worked to build a coalition of unions ready to take the action needed to put real pressure on the government.
Unite has already announced that its members in health will hold national strike action on 10 May and a ballot of Unite members in the civil service closes tomorrow, with an expectation they will also join the action.
In education, UCU has previously agreed to take co-ordinated national strike action and its executive meets next week. Following its annual conference, the NUT executive is also due to meet next week to take final decisions on rolling regional and national strikes, including proposed national action in June.
The main Northern Ireland public sector union Nipsa has confirmed plans to take action on that date and RMT members in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary will also be on strike.
The action will come a day after the Queen's Speech, which is expected to include a parliamentary bill forcing through changes to public sector pensions that will mean civil and public servants paying much more every month and working up to eight years longer for a lower pension in retirement.
Campaign plans for members in employer groups are being drawn up alongside proposals for national action, with groups encouraged to consider how their own issues are taken forward.
On 10 May, we will be organising strike day activities in each region with other unions – including, marches and rallies – and we will look to include other campaign groups such as the National Pensioners Association, UK Uncut, Disabled People Against the Cuts, BARAC and local anti-cuts alliances.
The Police Federation is also planning a national march through central London on 10 May to protest about cuts to pay, pensions and jobs.
More information about these plans will be posted to our website by early next week.
Since the last NEC, lobbying events have been organised, starting with a protest in deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's constituency in Sheffield at the weekend,. Others are planned in the constituencies of key cabinet members, including David Cameron, George Osborne, Francis Maude, Michael Gove and Danny Alexander.

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