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Reports round-up – strike and protest over closure of Strathcona school

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Issue 2671
Campaigners are fighting to save Roe Green Strathcona School
Campaigners are fighting to save Roe Green Strathcona School (Pic: Brent Trades Council/Facebook)

NEU union members at Roe Green Strathcona School in Brent, west London, struck on Monday. The action follows a walkout in June against a plan to close the school.

Workers, parents, trade unionists and others protested outside the school ahead of a council meeting to discuss the planned closure.

They are furious that Labour-run Brent council plans to close the school while giving the go-ahead to several new free schools.

A number of councillors have supported the battle to save the school. Labour councillor Jumbo Chan said, “Labour councils should be doing everything possible to retain and strengthen their local authority schools.”

In an informal consultation, 460 people opposed closure, with just three supporting it.

Messages of support to [email protected]

Fightback in the sixth forms?

NEU union members in sixth form colleges are set to end a ballot for strikes on Monday of next week.

The union is in dispute with the government over the impact of funding cuts on workers’ pay, conditions and job security.

Sixth form colleges suffered a 22 percent cut in real terms funding between 2010-11 and 2016-17.

The union said that sixth forms saw a 15 percent cut in teaching staff numbers over the same period, despite a 6 percent rise in student numbers. Workers have also suffered a real terms pay cut.

The union is balloting its members in sixth forms for discontinuous strikes during the autumn and spring terms.

The ballot is on a college by college basis. Each college that meets the required 50 percent turnout threshold can take legal strikes.

15 days of strikes at Nottingham College

UCU union members at Nottingham College were set to strike on Wednesday of this week, in the first of 15 planned walkouts.

Workers are taking action against bosses’ plans to impose new contracts that would mean worse conditions and lower pay.

Some 96 percent of UCU members backed strikes in a ballot. They held a successful walkout on 1 July.

Workers plan to follow this week’s 24-hour strike with escalating strikes of two, three, four and five days over the coming weeks.

lFurther planned strikes include Thursday and Friday of next week, 23, 24 and 25 September. Picket at the main entrances from 7.30am

Health visitors start seven-day action

Health visitors in Lincolnshire began a seven-day strike on Monday.

Some 58 Unite union members walked out in a dispute over privatisation and pay.

The planned industrial action—the longest the workers have staged so far—comes on top of 17 strike days.

The health visitors were transferred from the health service to the local authority in October 2017.

They have not had a pay rise since—even though both NHS and council workers have received pay increases.

Tweet solidarity to @UniteEastMids

XR Sheffield stops traffic in a protest

Extinction Rebellion Sheffield stopped traffic during rush hour on Monday.

Some 70 to 80 people took part in the swarming protest which blocked the road for five-minute intervals while some protesters spoke to people in their cars.

For some involved in the action, it was the first protest that they had been on.

The action was called in response to Sheffield council’s road widening programme—despite the fact that the council has declared a climate emergency.

John Ross

More fires, but fewer firefighters

Fire brigades are “in crisis” due to the low number of firefighters after a decade of job cuts, according to the FBU union.

The FBU says that there are nearly 11,500 fewer firefighters in Britain than in 2010, after the number increased by just 1 percent this year.

The news comes as fires are increasing, with a 10 percent spike in England.

Strike vote for First Glasgow bus drivers

First Glasgow bus drivers are to be balloted for industrial action.

Over 97 percent of Unite union members rejected the company’s lack of consultation over new service routes in a consultative ballot.

Unite believes these service changes will result in direct cuts to running times, service routes and recovery times for drivers.

Suez workers win rise in South Glos

Refuse workers in South Gloucestershire voted to strike against an insulting below-inflation pay offer from their employer Suez.

With action looming they have now won 3 percent this year and 3 percent next year.

Big march in Merthyr

Over 5,000 people joined a march for Welsh independence last Saturday in Merthyr Tydfil.

It was the third event organised by Yes Cymru and All Under One Banner, following thousands-strong marches in Caernarfon and Cardiff.

Speakers linked the growing movement to fighting austerity, cuts and Westminster misrule.

Some of the loudest cheers were for those attacking Boris Johnson.

Unlike some in the labour movement already attacking this growing movement, socialists should support the right of Wales to decide its future.

Ian Thomas

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