Socialist Worker

Rotherham: Rawmarsh school teachers step up strike fight

by Rotherham teachers
Issue No. 2236

Teachers on the picket line

Teachers on the picket line


Striking Rotherham teachers are stepping up their fight against job cuts at the end of three further days on strike this week.

NUT members from Rawmarsh Community School will lead an anti-cuts march in neighbouring Sheffield this Saturday.

And a march and demonstration is being planned for Rotherham in early March to build wider support for their “Kids Not Cuts” community campaign.

Their stand has become a beacon for other schools in the area where campaigns are under way to fight academies and oppose moves for a free school headed by one half of the Chuckle Brothers, comedian Barry Chuckle.

One teacher said: “We believe that the fight against the cuts at our school is the first of many in Rotherham, and South Yorkshire as a whole.

“As a result, we see this as a crucial fight, and one which must be won for the sake of students everywhere, in schools like Rawmarsh.”

So far concessions have been won on reducing the number of compulsory redundancies but the overall number of jobs to go remains at 34, including 25 teachers—a quarter of the teaching staff.

More strikes are going ahead over the next three weeks and teachers are discussing ways of spreading their action to other Rotherham schools.

One way would be to follow moves in Tower Hamlets and Camden where borough-wide ballots of NUT members are planned on the question of fighting cuts and compulsory job losses across all schools within the local authority.

Some teachers believe an all-out strike will be necessary to build the solidarity to win.

They have already won widespread support, with messages from unions locally and nationally. But solidarity needs stepping up.

Strikers have been addressing other workers by sending out delegations to workplaces.

They have also made links with young people who staged occupations to stop the closure of youth centres.

One teacher addressed a 30-strong meeting of the Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance steering committee on Wednesday which agreed support, took a collection and invited NUT members to lead their demonstration on Saturday.

A benefit social with six local bands has been organised for Friday February 18 from 6pm onwards at the Star Inn, High Street, Rawmarsh

The NUT have asked for messages of support to be sent to ralphdyson@yahoo.co.uk and donations to NUT Doncaster office, 7, Chequer Road, Doncaster DN1 2AA. Updates on the dispute by following our Twitter feed (@RotherhamNUT) or on the Rotherham NUT Facebook page


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News
Thu 27 Jan 2011, 14:03 GMT
Issue No. 2236
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