Socialist Worker

Teachers should strike to stop attacks on pay and conditions

Tory education secretary Michael Gove is waging war on teachers and trade unions should take action to stop his attacks

Issue No. 2342

Leaders of the NUT union could call a strike over attacks on teachers’ pay and conditions.

The union’s national executive committee (NEC) was set to meet on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

It will consider calling a strike with or without the NASUWT union.

General secretary Christine Blower has told NUT members, “The union is urgently seeking talks with government. If we make no progress, strike action is inevitable.”

Many teachers are furious at the attacks and want action to stop them.

The government published a draft pay structure earlier in the month that scraps the main pay scales for new teachers.

Tory education secretary Michael Gove is moving towards performance related pay.

This means head teachers will decide what to pay individual teachers.

Teachers could be stuck on their starting salary indefinitely.


The new attacks on pay come on top of a three-year pay freeze and higher pension contributions. Pension contributions will rise again in April this year.

Cuts to school funding will see teachers sacked or further attacks on their conditions—at a time when pupil numbers are rising.

NUT members have shown their willingness to strike time and time again.

They backed walkouts by over 82 percent in a ballot in September last year.

The union’s failure to call action has angered many teachers.

Some planned to lobby the NUT NEC meeting from 5pm on Wednesday of this week to demand it calls action.

Socialist Worker members on the NEC will argue for a series of strikes to begin on 20 March, budget day.

These strikes should continue after the Easter break throughout April and May.

Such action could be coordinated with workers in the PCS union who are currently balloting for strikes.

It could give confidence to other groups of workers to take on the Tories.

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