Teachers in London are to ballot for strike action over pay. Ballot papers will go out to over 40,000 members of the NUT union the week after next. Teachers will vote on a one-day strike over the allowances paid for working in London and neighbouring areas.
The body that sets teachers' pay is only recommending a 3.5 percent increase. There is also a crisis over retaining teachers in the rest of Britain, due to pay and workload.
New Labour's performance-related pay scheme has not solved that. The government has only provided enough money to fund pay rises for half the number of teachers who qualify under the scheme.
The show simply won't go on
Workers across London's 38 West End theatres have voted to hold their first strike in living memory next month. Some 2,500 backstage staff, sound and lighting engineers, wardrobe staff and box office workers will be involved in the action against low pay. 'We may select days or periods of time for a stoppage, or we may hit all 38 theatres on one day,' said Mark David-Gray, theatres organiser for the workers' Bectu union.
The bosses, the Society of London Theatre, were forced to increase their pay offer from 1.6 percent to 3.24 percent. But they withdrew their promise to backdate the pay deal. Box office takings rose last year to £300 million. Yet the workers get on average £6.33 an hour.
Watchdogs hold historic strike
THE PARLIAMENTARY and Health Service Ombudsmen's office was due to be hit by another strike over pay on Wednesday of this week.
Some 240 staff struck for the first time in their history last month after an overwhelming vote for a one-day strike every month. The workers are based in offices at Millbank Tower in London, and in Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Boot the Nazis out of Greenwich
A CAMPAIGN has begun to kick a leading member of the Nazi BNP out of Greenwich University. Lawrence Rustem is a politics student and chairman of the BNP's 'Ethnic Liaison Committee'.
Rustem, who is of Turkish descent, wants to try to lure non-white students into the BNP. His lecturers were horrified to see him featured on the Panorama programme 'BNP-Under the Skin'. Doreen Lawrence, mother of the murdered black teenager Stephen, has studied at Greenwich University.
She said, 'I had no idea such a person was studying here. The university cannot support a student like that. There is a large proportion of black students.' The Anti Nazi League has called a meeting to kick Rustem out on Tuesday 19 February at 5pm in the Drednought Building, Greenwich University.
GLOBALISE RESISTANCE supporters organised a picket against tube privatisation in London last week