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East London school takes action over academy selloff plan

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Issue 2689
Trade unionists and campaigners have a strong tradition of striking and protesting against academisation in Newham
Trade unionists and campaigners have a strong tradition of striking and protesting against academisation in Newham (Pic: Guy Smallman)

NEU union members at St Michael’s Catholic Primary School in Newham, east London, struck for three days last week to stop the school being turned into an academy.

Workers plan further walkouts next month and parents are also resisting the academisation plan.

They could be joined by NEU members at nearby St Bonaventure’s school, who are also fighting the same Multi Academy Trust.

Parents at St Michael’s school have set up a petition against the plan. They say, “If the school becomes an academy it will essentially become a business. The purpose of every business is to make money.”

Parents fear that academisation could see unqualified staff replace teachers to cut costs, and lead to cuts in support staff.

Sign the petition against the academisation of St Michael’s school at Send messages of support to [email protected]

Wales school workers strike against restructure

Workers at a Newport school struck on Tuesday of this week in a dispute over a planned restructure. The NASUWT union members at Llanwern High School planned further walkouts on Thursday of this week, and a three-day strike from Tuesday 11 February.

They kicked off their industrial action with a walkout on Thursday 16 January.

Strikers say the restructure will harm children’s education. Newport City Council has said the restructure could lead to compulsory redundancies.

One worker said the school is already struggling to buy “essential classroom supplies”. NASUWT acting general secretary Chris Keates said teachers “cannot stand by while their jobs are placed in jeopardy”.

NASUWT members at Newport’s Caerleon Comprehensive School also plan strikes over a restructure on 6, 11 and 12 February.

Strike ballots underway in Tower Hamlets

The NEU union is balloting over 1,200 union members in Tower Hamlets, east London, for strikes. The ballot is over the Labour council’s planned changes to workers’ conditions, including cuts to redundancy payments.

NEU members backed strikes by 97 percent in an indicative ballot. The formal ballot ends on Tuesday 18 February. Unison union members in Tower Hamlets are also balloting for action.

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