The National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced plans on Friday of last week for a strike across schools in England and Wales for Wednesday 26 March.
This is officially over the long-standing dispute with government over worsening of our pay, pensions and conditions.
Yet for school workers, parents and students everywhere it is also about education secretary Michael Gove’s attacks on education.
The last such national strike was with other public sector workers on 30 November 2011.
Since then a series of regional school strikes have happened jointly with the other main school union NASUWT.
This strike was publicly threatened last November, but postponed on the apparent promise of talks with the secretary of state. They haven’t happened.
It was then planned for Wednesday of this week, but colleagues in the NASUWT wanted more time to plan. Their leaders were set to meet on Friday of this week to decide whether to join this strike.
The NUT has no option but to fight on alone if others prevaricate.
Gove denounces us as “enemies of promise” and dismisses critical local authorities and academics as “The Blob”.
Yet Gove is immune to the scandalous failings of some academies and free schools, and the burn-out rate of newly qualified teachers.
He doesn’t seem to care about the alienation of so many students from a system that leaves them without jobs or hope.
We are right to strike, to blow the whistle on what Gove is doing to schools and teaching. But one day will not be enough.
The NUT is calling on all concerned to support striking teachers, before and after the marches and rallies that will happen on 26 March.
Welsh teaching union UCAC has called a strike on the same day. Other unions should do the same.
Contact your local school to state your support for the strikes, and get local pre-strike meetings organised.
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