Socialist Worker

Second union joins John Roan strikes

by Miriam Scharf
Issue No. 2613

On the picket line last week

On the picket line last week

GMB union members at John Roan school joined NEU union members in a two-day strike on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

The workers at the south east London school are fighting to stop it being turned into an academy.

The GMB cleaning team was out in force on the picket line.

Margaret explained why they were striking. “Academies are no good,” she told Socialist Worker. “They are a business and their game is no good for us. I’m here to protect the children.”

Tammy added, “If John Roan academises, we could end up with outsourcing.”

And Gary said, “Now we are with the council. I don’t want my terms and conditions changed.”

GMB regional organiser Clive Smith said, “Academies are attacking working conditions and putting more pupils through stress with the fixation on test results.

“Local MPs don’t want this. Parents don’t want this. The staff don’t want this.”

NEU members at the school held five days of strikes before last week’s two-day walkout.

The action has already forced the school to push back the planned date for converting to an academy.

Both unions are determined to keep up the fight next term.

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