Socialist Worker

Rally and a strike ballot to fight huge budget cuts at east London school

by Paul McGarr
Issue No. 2606

 A march against school funding cuts last July. Many schools are now feeling the impact of the cuts

A march against school funding cuts last July. Many schools are now feeling the impact of the cuts (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Around 80 staff and parents rallied against cuts outside Langdon Park school in Tower Hamlets, east London, last Thursday.

The rally came as the NEU union launched a formal strike ballot in the face of a huge £800,000 cuts package.

This threatens nine teachers’ jobs, nine support staff jobs, pay cuts and increased workload.

Most importantly it will have a devastating impact on the education of children in one of the most deprived communities in Britain.

Workers in the NEU and Unison unions have overwhelmingly backed action over the cuts in indicative ballots.

The cuts amount to 10 percent of the school’s budget. They are driven by government funding cuts and by a school deficit.

The proposed restructuring seeks to end the £400,000 deficit over four years and build up a £400,000 surplus.

The council could tell the school that this surplus is not needed.

It could also reschedule payments the school is making on outstanding loans to the borough.

We hope to be in a position to move to significant strikes if that is needed.


Job cuts halted in Haringey

A restructure at Park View school in Haringey, north London, threatened pay cuts and redundancies among support staff.

Unison union members were fairly unorganised with no rep at the beginning of the dispute.

But after Unison members called a meeting and elected a rep, all the proposed pay cuts were reversed, as were some of the redundancies.

Two staff still faced compulsory redundancy.

After a large meeting organised by Unison and the NEU union, Unison members voted for an indicative ballot for strikes.

Both redundancies were reversed before the ballot closed.

There are still some issues with the reorganisation, but it’s a clear victory.


Academy strike is off in Barnsley

Staff at St Helen’s Primary Academy, Barnsley have postponed their next round of strikes.

The employer, Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) has finally responded to proposals put to them.

AET have now agreed that an inquiry will take place that will be carried out by conciliation service Acas with staff giving their reports anonymously.

Parents are also worried the AET is failing their children.

Staff are overjoyed that the combined strikes of teaching and non-teaching staff has forced AET to make this move.

But they are wary of how this will be carried out and so action is only suspended for the time being.

George Arthur


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News
Tue 29 May 2018, 13:16 BST
Issue No. 2606
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