Socialist Worker

Teachers in Derby walk out over pay and unfair targets

by Sue Arguile
Issue No. 2437

Staff at Merrill Academy in Derby were out in force on the picket line on Tuesday of last week. 

The NUT and NASUWT union members are in dispute over lack of pay progression and unfair targets.

The mood was very positive and determined.

Morale at the school has been at an all-time low for some time as many teachers feel bullied and are sick of constantly being told they are rubbish. 

The lack of pay progression for a majority of staff was just the last straw. 

Further strikes are planned for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Please send messages of support to [email protected]

Vote Courtney in the NUT

Teachers in the NUT union are voting to elect the union’s deputy general secretary. Socialist Worker backs current deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney.

Bridget Chapman is a teacher in south London. She told Socialist Worker, “I’m proud to be supporting Kevin Courtney. I don’t know anybody who isn’t supporting him.

“He has been a unifying force in the union.”

The election ends on Monday of next week. Teachers and all public sector workers face major challenges.

Go to for more information

Strike called at Barnsley College

Barnsley College workers have called a three-day strike from Thursday of next week. 

The UCU union members are fighting against attacks on their jobs and contracts that would cut pay and holidays for some workers and bring in performance-related pay.

Workers held a successful two-day strike in November and a 24-hour strike in October.

Send messages of support to [email protected]

Vote for action at Sheffield College

Workers at Sheffield College have overwhelmingly voted for strikes to save jobs.

The UCU union members backed strikes by 86 percent and action short of a strike by 95 percent.

College bosses have said 75 jobs could go because they want to cut costs to build up reserves.

Pensions anger in UCU

Higher education lecturers are demanding their UCU union defends their USS pension scheme. The employers want to scrap the final salary element of the scheme, slashing the value of workers’ pensions.

The UCU is consulting members over a counter-proposal it has drawn up. 

UCU Left is arguing for a rejection of this offer. It describes the proposal as “a retreat of historic proportions that will mean all our members pay more”.

The UCU proposal would shift workers from a final salary scheme to a career re-evaluated benefits scheme. This would cut the value of some workers’ pensions while making all members pay more in.

UCU Left is arguing for workers to organise to reject the union’s proposal.

Go to for model motion and more information

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Article information

Tue 20 Jan 2015, 17:29 GMT
Issue No. 2437
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