Socialist Worker

Why teachers support this strike

by Nick Grant, NUT national executive member (pc)
Issue No. 2109a

I’m sure that National Union of Teachers (NUT) members everywhere will be doing all they can to express solidarity with striking local government workers in Unison, Unite and other unions today and tomorrow.

There’s a simple reason for this solidarity – we have the same bosses. There has been a huge increase in non-teaching staff in schools over the last ten years, and it’s vital that we all fight together.

In many schools teachers in the NUT will be helping the campaign to recruit new members to Unison in their workplaces. Elsewhere teachers will take collections and identify precisely the jobs they will refuse to do if asked to cover for a Unison striker.

In other schools, teachers may even decide to respect picket lines on the basis that they are under the same employer as the strikers.

The class traditions of such action go back far longer than the shackles of Margaret Thatcher’s punitive anti-union laws – and they will long survive them.

NUT members experienced a glimpse of the collective power of workers on 24 April when we went on strike over pay alongside lecturers and civil service workers.

Many non-teaching staff wanted to be with us on strike that day, and we still hope that this will happen before the end of the year.

We need to be working towards joint strike action across the public sector in the autumn.

There is absolutely no reason why the TUC cannot call this at its annual conference in Brighton in September.

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Article information

Tue 15 Jul 2008, 09:34 BST
Issue No. 2109a
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