Saturday 22 June 2013

Strike to force Gove back - before he forces you out of teaching

* Don’t let Gove destroy young people's education 
* Don’t let Gove wreck teachers’ lives
* National Strike Action can beat back Gove !

Michael Gove's latest attack on teachers' working conditions are reason enough to make sure that the North-West strike on June 27 will be massively supported by NUT and NASUWT members. June 27 has to be just the start of a bold calendar of action.

Gove’s evidence to the Review Body spells out that he’s throwing everything he can at us. Already, our pensions have been cut and performance-pay has been imposed. Now he wants us to work even longer days, with shorter holidays, and with other workload protections such as rights to PPA time abolished too.

We have to show Gove that teachers are not going to sit back and see our pay, pensions and conditions ripped apart. Nor are we going to let this Government destroy children’s chances of a decent education.

We cannot let Gove and Cameron implement their plans to cut costs by slashing pay, jobs and conditions. They will leave schools staffed by inexperienced, badly-paid, demoralised teachers who can be thrown aside then replaced at the whim of a bullying Headteacher.

The Government hopes that these attacks on pay and conditions will create a frightened, compliant workforce who will jump when the Head says 'jump', ruled over by a frightened, compliant Head who will jump when Wilshaw and Ofsted say 'jump’ as well ! Either we allow them to run riot over our pay, conditions, job security and union organisation - or we mount a serious struggle.

The more unions have held back, the more confident Gove has felt to escalate his attacks. Now, we have to force him back by escalating our national action
- and we must continue until he is forced to retreat.

At the very least, unions now need to boldly implement the existing plan for further joint NUT/NASUWT action next term. That would mean announcing the dates for the next regional strikes in September and October, as well as making plans to co-ordinate our proposed national strike in November with other unions looking to take action against government attacks like the PCS. 

However, Gove already knows we’ve got that action planned and he’s still going on the attack. To show this Government - and our teaching colleagues - that we are serious, we now need to accelerate and escalate our action plans.

I believe that we should now be considering calling a one-day national strike early next term and then preparing for a two-day strike to defend teachers and education.

To download a longer version of this article laid out as a Socialist Party Teachers' leaflet, go to:

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