Socialist Worker

Winterbourne school shows strikes can win

by Anne Lemon, NUT national executive (pc)
Issue No. 2472

Winterbourne pickets

Winterbourne pickets (Pic: Winterbourne NASUWT)

Teachers at Winterbourne Academy in South Gloucestershire have scored a major victory—and shown that strikes can win.

NUT and NASUWT union members took three days of strikes in a dispute over several grievances, including a draconian performance management policy. 

Workers said the school’s chief executive Beverley Martin had created a “climate of fear” and complained that she had called them “lazy”.

The strikes were big and active, with over 100 people joining some picket lines. Parents and students supported the strikers.

A further three days of strikes were suspended on Friday of last week after Martin agreed to all the workers’ demands. 

Unions would not suspend the action without workers’ agreement, so Martin had to allow them 25 minutes at the start of the day to discuss the deal.

A meeting of over 100 workers agreed to suspend the action. But workers said they’ll be back out if bosses don’t honour their agreements

The NUT union’s Supply Teacher Network has called a lobby of supply agencies for Wednesday 28 October. 

Teachers want pay parity with other teachers and access to teachers’ pension schemes. 

They will meet at 11.30am at the NUT’s central London headquarters.   

Action for Esol activists lobbied the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in central London on Wednesday of last week.

They’re fighting cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages (Esol) courses

Action for Esol is co-hosting a lobby of parliament over the cuts on Wednesday 14 October. 

Protesters will assemble in front of parliament from 12 noon.

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Article information

Tue 22 Sep 2015, 15:00 BST
Issue No. 2472
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