THE NATIONAL Union of Teachers (NUT) is to hold a second ballot for a one-day London-wide strike over allowances for working in the capital. Ballot papers will go out on Friday of next week to be returned by 29 October, for a strike on Thursday 14 November. The second largest teachers' union, the NASUWT, is consulting reps in London before moving to a ballot for a strike on the same day.
The NUT is calling for 'a substantial increase in London allowances' for teachers in inner, outer and the fringe areas of London. Currently they receive allowances of £3,105, £2,043 and £792 respectively. A strike ballot earlier this year produced a vote of almost 86 percent in favour of a strike which was held on 14 March.
A meeting of NUT secretaries in London last week heard the NUT general secretary and national union officers say they were deadly serious about delivering a strike. They also pledged support for NUT associations in London calling a march on the day similar to the 10,000-strong demonstration on 14 March.
Education secretary Estelle Morris has told the body that sets teachers' pay that she wants to see allowances scrapped. She wants them replaced by a divisive system of school-based bonuses. She also wants to extend the hated performance-related pay scheme and make it harder for teachers to get through the system.
Continuing teacher shortages mean unions are in a strong position to fight both over London allowances and against performance-related pay. School support staff in the Unison, TGWU and GMB unions in London struck on Tuesday of this week over London allowances and received solidarity from teachers in many schools.
Activists report a strong mood for united action over pay by everyone who works in schools.