Saturday 7 September 2013

Building for action - report from the September NUT Executive

The NUT Executive met yesterday, the day after the announcement of the two regional strikes in October. 

That strike announcement means that every union rep and local officer has plenty of urgent work to do in building that action. Above all, it means that every teacher knows that, this term, we're going to make a stand for teachers and education.

Of course, colleagues in the North-West successfully started this new round of regional strike action on June 27th and, as I had a chance to say in the new TES, "We saw strong support for our strike action in the North West and I see no reason why there won't be solid support for the next strikes. The momentum is building. The more unions we have out, the stronger the effect will be for everybody."

There were two points of clarification at yesterday's discussion on the Executive which are important to report.

Firstly, although the regional strike announcement only covers NUT and NASUWT members in England, that does not mean that Welsh schools will definitely be excluded in October. A decision will be made depending on whether further progress can be made in negotiations over aspects of teachers' conditions that can be determined by the Welsh Assembly. Of course, most of the powers being used to attack the pay, pensions and conditions of both English and Welsh teachers still lie with Gove and Westminster and that has to be a key consideration.

Secondly, although some centrally organised rallies will be held on the strike days promoted by the National NUT and NASUWT, Local NUT Associations may, of course, choose to organise additional local rallies.  That's because, while attending a big regional rally can be a good way to show strength and solidarity, travelling to, say, the Cambridge rally on October 1 or the rally in Bristol on October 17, simply may not be practical.

For colleagues in London, plans are already being finalised for a march and rally in Central London. Hopefully, the details can be announced at the London 'Rally for Education' next weekend.

The rest of the National Executive meeting concentrated on discussing the Union's position on some of the key debates taking place at the TUC Congress next week. I will report further in a separate blogpost after tomorrow's NSSN Rally and Lobby of the TUC in Bournemouth.

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