MEMBERS OF Leeds NUT union were set to strike on Thursday of this week after an 81 percent ballot in favour of action over the threat of compulsory redundancies. Some schools will be closing as a result of the action and picket lines are being planned across the city.
Education Leeds, the arms length company run by Capita, sent urgent faxes last week into schools offering voluntary early retirement to teachers. They are panicked by the threat of the strike. Many union members are clear of the importance of halting compulsory redundancies this year. The funding crisis, combined with the government's surplus places policy, look set to worsen budgets next year.
Leaflets explaining the damage loss of staff will have on education provision will be handed out at school gates. These will be targeted at the parents of primary children where the redundancies of teachers and support assistants will mainly be felt.
NASUWT members who voted in favour of action by 85 percent in their own indicative ballot over the issue have been instructed to support the strike by not covering classes.
Some Unison members have also pledged not to cross picket lines. There was due to be a lunchtime rally at Leeds town hall on the strike day to be addressed by a member of the union's national executive, possibly Doug McAvoy himself!