TEACHERS IN the NUT union in Croydon will strike on Monday in protest at funding cuts and downgrading of jobs. A strike ballot saw a 42 percent turnout and 82 percent of those who voted said yes to a half day of industrial action.
The council plans £8 million cuts which amounts to up to 200 jobs. Croydon has told schools to replace teachers with teaching assistants because they are much cheaper.
The day's events begin with a rally at Oval Primary School addressed by NUT leader Doug McAvoy. A march will leave there at 4pm to go to Croydon Town Hall for 5pm.
Croydon Unison members will be supporting teachers when they lobby the council. This is a vital fight in the NUT's campaign to keep qualified teachers in the classroom against the government's intentions to provide education on the cheap.
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SCHOOL MEALS staff in Islington, north London, are moving towards a strike over cuts to their hours by contractor Scolarest. The workers are members of the GMB union and voted unanimously for strike action at a mass meeting earlier this month. Scolarest, part of the Compass Group, took over the contract 18 months ago from an in-house team.
GMB branch secretary Gary Doolan says, 'These proposed changes to school meals staff contracts which will mean a cut in hours and pay and the loss of pension rights have triggered the loss of goodwill that has kept the kitchens running up to now.' He added that Scolarest wanted to cut staff hours because of a drop in the number of meals served. But the union blames this on the type of food being served by the contractor.
'Everything's in breadcrumbs,' he said. 'Three out of five days it's something to do with turkey.' Scolarest recently pulled out of a £2.5 million a year school meals contract in Wandsworth, south London.