Ballot papers have now been sent out for the NUT teacher’s union national elections.
Campaigners for Roger King and Gill Goodswen, the Socialist Teachers Alliance and Campaign for a Fighting and Democratic Union candidates for vice-president, are taking the opportunity to link the election to the NUT campaign against Gordon Brown’s pay freeze.
Sally Kincaid, a member of the NUT executive in Wakefield, told Socialist Worker in a personal capacity, “We’re trying to link the pay campaign with the elections.
“The reason people should vote for Roger and Gill is that they are both committed to fighting the 2 percent pay cut that Brown wants to impose on teachers.
“Roger will be coming to Leeds on 15 November and we’re arranging for him to go to schools across the city to speak at special meetings on pay.”
Jane Bassett, president of Hackney NUT, told Socialist Worker in a personal capacity, “We held a mock ballot in our school on whether to reject the pay offer, and 85 percent voted yes. The NUT petition for fair pay for teachers is going down very well, and we’ve been taking this round along with the election materials.”
Teachers are currently waiting to hear the details of a report by the School Teachers pay Review Body (STRB). Few expect that it will challenge the 2 percent pay limit.
Alex Kenny, an NUT executive member in London, told Socialist Worker in a personal capacity, “It’s probable that the STRB will side with the government in it’s recommendations on pay – it always has done. If this happens we’ll be starting a ballot for strike action on 10 December.
“We’re already preparing for this, with a London-wide pay rally set up for 6 December. This will highlight the fact that many young teachers are finding it impossible to survive in London on the wage they start at.
“The rally will be crucial – it’s a week before the ballot begins, and will send a clear message to Brown that the NUT is serious about fighting the pay freeze. It will give people confidence to go back to their schools and build the vote for strike action.”
London pay rally – Thursday 6 December, 6pm at Friends Meeting House, London.