Socialist Worker

Teachers walk out against cuts

Issue No. 2299

Pickets in a former mining village  (Pic: Fran Postelthwaite)

Pickets in a former mining village (Pic: Fran Postelthwaite)

Striking teachers in Rotherham were in determined mood after closing their secondary school during a 24-hour walkout over job losses on Tuesday.

Pickets were outside Swinton Community School, in a former mining village, as around 30 teachers in the NUT union struck.

An NUT rep from a neighbouring school and teachers from Barnsley and Sheffield joined strikers to bring messages of support.

UCU lecturers at Barnsley College handed over a collection. Other unions showing solidarity included South Yorkshire NUJ. Parents have also shown support.

NUT members had voted 93 percent in favour of strikes after budget cuts threatened eight teachers’ jobs. But the main issue now is the future of one teacher at the school.

The school claims that a fall in pupil numbers had led to the need for “restructuring” of staff.

But NUT rep Christine Cooksey said falling numbers were “being used as an excuse.”

She said the situation was a result of financial mismanagement over a number of years. Staff felt let down after working hard to improve standards.

“We’re very solid and will take further action if necessary,” she said.

Rotherham NUT joint secretary Ralph Dyson—who led a successful strike over job cuts at a nearby school last year— added, “Yet again teachers have shown their determination to fight—whether over cuts or pensions.”

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