Teachers in the NUT union are likely to ballot for action over pay in January, and not December, as originally planned.
The key reason is that the recommendations from the “independent” school teachers (Pay) review body – the STRB – have been made to the government but are being sat on by Ed Balls, minister for children, schools and families.
Given that the NUT’s planned action is not in respect of the current year’s pay but rather that for 2008-11, it is acceptable that the NUT NEC waits for the decision from the government in order to motivate a better return and result in the ballot. The NUT leadership is not delaying this ballot to wind down our campaign.
The London rally set for this Thursday is crucial for making clear that teachers are prepared to fight the pay freeze. The union’s general secretary Steve Sinnott has invited NUT branches nationally to send delegations with banners to give it a stronger media impact.
We need school meetings, rallies, and networks of support between stronger and weaker organised schools along with activities like mass signatures on letters to local papers.
It is important to involve NASUWT and ATL union members.
Those on the left who are standing for NUT national executive elections next spring need to play a high-profile role in this campaigning.
It’s a golden opportunity to both win wider support among NUT rank and file and to build the NUT left.