With a YES vote won in the ballot for non-strike action, the NUT will be able to call on teachers right across the Union to take action from September to protect us from the attacks we face.
‘Non-strike’ action could take a lot of forms. The NUT is discussing joint advice with the NASUWT - but will want to ensure that the action taken is more effective than the existing NASUWT ‘action-short-of-strike-action’.
If you’ve got ideas about action that would be widely supported in your school /area, let your NUT Executive member know! But these are some of the suggestions that have been discussed as possible actions. Some could be ongoing, some perhaps run in ‘target weeks’:
- Refusing to hand in short-term plans to school management - because planning should be to help teachers teach, not for managers to monitor us. Refusing to attend more than one sixty minute management-directed meeting a week, with staff leaving together if this time is exceeded.
- Staff all leaving the site together shortly after the end of the school day – limiting our hours at work.
- Refusing to work more than an overall thirty-five hours a week – limiting our hours out of work too!
- Refusing to accept observations or drop-ins that do not adhere to the Union’s limits and protocols – why don’t we tell pupils just to read in silence until the observer leaves?
National strike action is most likely to make sure that our campaign hits the headlines. It also most easily unites members from across different schools and regions - from the best-organised through to those that perhaps are not so confident. If, as we hope, the NUT and NASUWT will be taking joint action - hopefully alongside other unions too - unions representing at least 85% of teachers in England and Wales will be taking action together. That will make a real impact.
Strike action will be vital if we are to win our national campaign to make this Government think again about its attacks - and to win the protections on pay, workload, inspections, observations - and of course on pensions too - that are needed to defend both teachers and education. Unions will obviously also give full support to members if any employer tries to take action against staff taking part in the campaign.
With economic and political troubles adding to their woes, this Coalition is susceptible to pressure. It’s time we turned the tables and put them under a bit more stress!
So please vote YES to non-strike action and vote YES to strike action too!
SET THE CALENDAR FOR NATIONAL STRIKE ACTION ON PENSIONS
The delay in calling further national pensions action in schools since November 30 has raised questions about where the pensions campaign is going. They can best be answered by the NUT & NASUWT announcing clear dates for a calendar of strike action next term.
Dates for joint national action in the Autumn are under discussion. Other unions - such as the PCS and UCU who took strike action in May - also want to set dates for co-ordinated action with teaching unions. So the pensions campaign is far from over - and we can’t let it be! We still can’t afford to be paying in more - and we certainly can’t afford to have to teach until we are 68. The higher pension payments have started - but have yet to be imposed in full. The raising of pension ages won’t be implemented until 2015 - so we still have time to force further concessions - and we must do so.
Support staff unions need to be fighting alongside us too. The TUC have called for another big anti-cuts national demonstration in London on October 20th - but it must be a springboard to united union action.
The National Shop Stewards Network Conference agreed to lobby across the movement for a one-day general strike across both public and private sectors, to really put pressure on the Coalition. The June 16 Local Associations Conference in Liverpool will also be making plans to keep up the pressure for action.