Thursday 30 January 2014

National Executive agrees date for national strike action

Today's meeting of the NUT National Executive agreed the next steps in our campaign on pay, pensions and conditions.

I'm pleased to report that, among other suggestions,  a number of the proposals that I and others around LANAC have been making over the last weeks and months were taken on board - such as exploring support for a national demonstration for Education and, above all, agreement on a date for national strike action to take place before Easter, whether or not other unions agree to co-ordinate with us.

Regrettably, as these decisions weren't decided on at the previous special meeting of the NEC on January 16th, a strike day can't now be built for in time for the original announced deadline of February 13th - which would also have allowed more time for further strike action to be put in place before Easter.

However, a date has at last been set. What is that exact date for action? Sorry for any further frustration but you will need to wait just a little longer to find out! The Executive agreed that a formal announcement of the strike date will be announced by the NUT on Friday, February 7th. However, the announcement will be made - so let's start building for the action that will follow.

Yes, we've had to wait too long since the well-supported regional strike actions. Yes, we've seen fourteen weeks pass where Gove has failed to meet unions to resolve our dispute .... and No, a one-day strike alone will not shift him either. However, at least momentum is now starting to rebuild again.

NUT members will be relieved that their union is taking national action to defend teachers and education. However, they will also be thinking about what has to come next if we are to defeat Gove's attacks. Those discussions about the ongoing strategy to win this dispute are essential - and will be central to debates at NUT Annual Conference this Easter. LANAC's Campaign Conference this Saturday will be debating that strategy, based on our policy of arguing for a calendar of ongoing national action, including consideration of escalation to a two-day strike and collections for hardship funds to allow maximum participation in strike action.

As our public campaigning must also make clear, we're in a serious battle to defend education - and we have a responsibility to use our trade union strength to win that battle. Let's do so!

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