Teachers meet to plan action over low pay
Around 250,000 teachers in the NUT union are preparing for a strike ballot beginning on 28 February over pay. Union members are mobilising to get the biggest possible vote out.
Around 100 NUT members and local trade union activists attended a meeting in Bristol on Monday of last week.
NUT general secretary Steve Sinnott outlined the reasons why the NUT will ballot for strike action.
Sinnott pointed out that teachers had already experienced three years of pay cuts. Teachers are facing a loss in real terms of from £600 to £2,200 a year depending on their position on the pay scale.
Sasha Callaghan, UCU president elect (pc) announced that the college lecturers’ union is also balloting to take action over pay on the same day in April.
The prospect of the beginnings of a united pay campaign shows that Gordon Brown’s public sector pay freeze is already under threat.
Dave Wilshire, secretary of Bristol CWU postal workers’ union, and John Drake, regional secretary of the FBU firefighters’ union, were also at the meeting.
Speakers from the floor recognised there were real challenges ahead. Activists need to get into schools and set up meetings to discuss the ballot and officers must send reminders to vote to the home addresses of their members.
Paul Vernell, NUT rep Filton High School and membership secretary South Gloucestershire NUT
Parents on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent have won a victory in their fight against proposals from the county council to replace all three middle schools and one upper school with an academy.
Legal papers were served on the council last December arguing that their actions were flawed and unlawful.
The Sheppey Parents Action Group (SPAG) has long been arguing that the consultations for both the primary and secondary phase should be linked – which the council has now accepted.
Sheppey Parents Action Group
Sertuc anti-academies conference
The South East and Eastern Region TUC (Sertuc) has called a conference against academies for Saturday 8 March in conjunction with the Anti Academies Alliance.
The conference will look at the impact of academies on education, trade union rights, democracy and public accountability.
Speakers from the NUT, TUC, Unison and NASUWT unions will address the conference. The conference will take place at Congress House in London and is free. To register or for more information, go to www.tuc.org.uk/sertuc
Hereford march against school closures
Around 5,000 protesters marched through Hereford on Wednesday of last week against proposals to close up to 40 schools.
Following a number of protests, Herefordshire council has promised there will be no closures under the current administration – which will be in power until 2011.
But parents are still angry over the lack of consultation over the proposed changes.