Socialist Worker

Term ends on a high note with a wave of teachers' strikes

Issue No. 2333

Pickets at Dunston school on Tuesday (Pic: Jeannie Robinson)

Pickets at Dunston school on Tuesday (Pic: Jeannie Robinson)

Dunston school walks out against appraisals

Teachers at Dunston primary school in Chesterfield began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week against intrusive appraisals and monitoring.

The action follows a two-day strike last week. Strikers are NASUWT union members and the action is part of the union’s national campaign over workload and conditions.

Dave Wilkinson, NEC member for the area said, “The local authority wants deteriorating terms and conditions for teachers through excessive, intrusive and harassing monitoring.”

If there is no movement from management then there will be two more days of action next week. Rush messages of support to [email protected].

Jeannie Robinson

Sinfin school’s second academy battle

Teachers at Sinfin school in Derby successfully fought off an academy last year. But now they are heading into battle again. NASUWT union members at Sinfin have voted for strikes over the government’s plans to turn the school into an academy.

The school was put into special measures in February by Ofsted, the hated schools inspectorate. It now has an interim executive which is set to start a consultation on the academy conversion plans.

Teachers at the school struck several times in 2008 against council plans to turn it into an academy. The council withdrew its plans in January 2009.

The NASUWT says it plans to strike before Christmas. The NUT union could join the walkout. The NASUWT is also in dispute over “intrusive” monitoring of teachers. It had planned six days of strikes, but has suspended them for talks.

Connaught strikers prepare to lobby governors

Teachers at Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone, east London, struck on Tuesday of this week against plans to turn the school into an academy.

The NUT members were set to strike again on Thursday of this week. They were also preparing for a lobby of governors on Wednesday from 6pm.

Westfield pickets support workload action

Teachers in the NUT union at Westfield Sports College in Sheffield struck last Thursday. At 7am in freezing weather there was already a lively picket.

Teachers oppose what they regard as an unsupportive appraisal and observations procedure. The walkout was part of the NUT’s national action on workload.

Teachers had planned a further three days of strikes this week. But the action was suspended for talks. Three days of strikes are still possible during the last week of term if agreement is not reached.

Ben Morris

Alderwasley Hall strike over drugs tests

Teachers at Alderwasley Hall school in Derbyshire struck last week in defence of a suspended teacher.

The NASUWT union members say one teacher was suspended after refusing to take a random drugs test. Their strike began on Tuesday of last week and the suspension of the teacher was lifted the next day.

But teachers continued their strike until Thursday. Other teachers have been threatened with dismissal if they refuse to take a test.

Alderwasley Hall is a residential centre as well as a school. It is run by the Senad firm which runs several schools and homes.

Senad introduced a policy of random drugs testing at the school in January 2009 and later asked workers to sign new contracts agreeing to tests. NASUWT members refused to sign them.

Teachers were set to strike against the drugs policy on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Leicester teachers hold campaign meeting

Some 50 NUT union members gathered in Leicester last week, following the Tories’ announcement of fresh pay attacks on teachers. The Local Associations for National Action conference saw agreement that we need a programme of strikes.

Steve Charles, NUT rep at Stratford Academy, spoke about their strikes to defend members. There was a video link with organisers of the teachers’ strike in Chicago.

Jane Bassett

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Article information

Tue 11 Dec 2012, 18:11 GMT
Issue No. 2333
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