Socialist Worker

Strikes over academy scam plan in Enfield

Issue No. 2640

A show of strength on the picket line at Galliard school in January

A show of strength on the picket line at Galliard school in January (Pic: Stefan Simms)


NEU union members at Galliard Primary School in Enfield, north London, were set to start a two-day strike on Wednesday this week.

Workers are fighting a plan to turn the school into an academy. They struck for a day in January.

Enfield councillors have spoken out against “forced academisation” as being an undemocratic drain on funds.

The council last month discussed a £60 million scheme to boost fire safety in schools.

One of the schools, Walker primary school, plans to become an academy.

Enfield council deputy leader Daniel Anderson said this would see the council “investing resources in ­something that will be lost to the local authority”.

Governors

Councillor Achilleas Georgiou said Walker’s governors had “gone against the will of the vast majority of parents to become an academy”.

Labour council leader Nesil Caliskan spoke about Galliard school.

She said the decision to become an academy wasn’t “prompted or welcomed by local residents or from parents and certainly not from unions”.

“Every time a local authority school that is experiencing a deficit decides to academise it costs this local authority money—because their deficit stays with the local ­authority,” she said.

The council should intervene to stop the schools becoming academies.

And trade unionists should organise solidarity with strikers this week.

Messages of solidarity to susan.oshea@neu.org.uk

Teachers in the NEU union at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College in Leicester were set to strike on Wednesday this week over a restructure.

Send messages of support to toni.bennett@neu.org.uk

Workers at Shenstone Lodge in Sandwell were set to hold a two-day strike from Wednesday this week.

The NEU union members are fighting redundancies.

Send messages of support to Darren.barton@neu.org.uk

Union accused of using Tory laws

The GMB union has accused the NASUWT ­teachers’ union of using Tory laws to break strikes.

NASUWT staff are in dispute over pensions and pay.

The GMB said the NASUWT’s staff review committee has refused its request to extend the life of an ­existing industrial action ballot.

The ballot was supported by the overwhelming ­majority of GMB members.

Workers then struck in October. Under the anti-union laws, industrial action ballots are live for six months unless a three-month extension is agreed.


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