The fight is on for pay and education……
STRIKE TO WIN
The magnificent teachers’ ballot result in England and Wales was an astonishing achievement- across hundreds of thousands of members in over 20,000 separate workplaces, with postal strikes on, in the face of all the obstacles of the Tory anti-union laws.
Over 90 percent backed strikes and we beat the 50 percent government threshold. The fight is well and truly on.
The NEU has announced seven strike days, with four in any one school.
The first is a national strike, next Wednesday 1 February.
The urgent task everywhere is to make this the biggest most vibrant and powerful show of strength that we can.
It was reps and activists on the ground who delivered the ballot, and it is reps and activists organising in schools and districts who will make the1 February a day to remember.
We need picket lines at every school we can get them- as a focus for people coming together, collectively, a visible presence in the community.
Support staff voted overwhelmingly to strike, but fell just short of the anti-union thresholds for action. But anyone in a school can refuse to cross our picket lines, and they will be treated as if they were on strike.
Banners placards, music and more should make the picket lines festivals of rebellion against what this government has done to educators’ pay and to education.
We want parents to join us on picket lines outside schools – get leaflets out in advance explaining what our fight is about and inviting them.
And we want parents to join us too on the marches and rallies that the NEU alongside other striking unions are organising in 1 February.
Let’s make those marches and rallies a show of rage against the government and a show of our determination to fight to win.
The PCS civil servants’ union is calling 100,000 members out the same day, and tens of thousands of university lectures in the UCU union are also striking on 1 Feb as are rail workers in the RMT and ALSEF unions.
The TUC could and should have called on other unions to coordinate strikes on the same day. Instead it shamefully ran away from that and has instead called a day of “action”- but no strikes and precious little action- on defending the “right” to strike. The best way to defend the right to strike is to make our strikes and strike rallies as powerful as possible.
The bigger and better the 1 February is the better the mood for building the action that follows. The NEU is calling a series of regional strikes in February and early March and then a two day national strike on 15 and 16 March- with a national demonstration on 15 March in London on 15 March, budget day.
If the government has not retreated by then budget day should see a huge march on parliament demanding Sunak taxes the rich and big business to fund public services and public sector workers’ pay properly.
The money is there. The energy companies are on course to make £170 billion “excess” profits in the next two years. The four biggest banks are set to make £33 billion profit this year alone- yet the government is cutting not raising taxes on the banks.
The number of billionaires in the UK has jumped from 29 in 2010 to 177 last year – in the same period that teachers’ pay has failed in real terms by over 20 percent and support staff by 26 percent.
These 177 billionaires have £653 billion between them.
A tiny fraction of all these vast pools of wealth could pay for every public sector worker to have an inflation busting pay rise and put desperately needed money into schools, hospitals, transport and more.
We need to strike, march and protest to force the government to act.
And if the strikes planned already do not shift the government we cannot give up, but have to step up the fight to crack them and win. That means looking to escalating after Easter if needed to a more rapid weekly tempo of national strikes.
CALL NEU LEFT MEETINGS AFTER 1 FEBRUARY TO BUILD THE REGIONAL STRIKES
In every area we urge NEU Left members and supporters to organise a meeting (in person or zoom whatever works best in your area) for after 1 February pulling activists together to discuss the day and organise to ensure the regional strikes that will then follow are powerful in every area.
Get a leaflet done and printed advertising these meetings to give out on picket lines and marches and rallies on 1 February.
We can build the NEU Left and that can help ensure that everywhere those regional strikes deliver the punch we need.
JOIN THE NEU LEFT
Why not join us and help build a progressive left current in the union committed to organising on the ground and winning the gains our members need.
Sign up at: www.neuleft.org or scan this QR code
Back Daniel for General Secretary
The election for our new general secretary of the NEU gets underway next week. There are two candidates- current deputy general secretary Niamh Sweeney and former NEU president Daniel Kebede.
The NEU Left is enthusiastically backing and fighting for Daniel to be elected. He stands for the united and fighting union we need.
When a former special advisor to ex Tory education secretary Michael Gove says he opposes Daniel that tells you all you need to know.
The election matters- as it will decide what kind of union we have over the coming years. It’s simple choice.
A union which looks to cosy talks with ministers and shadow ministers and a union dominated by officials and head office on the one hand, or a combative, organising union prepared to stand up for its members and where activists and classroom teachers are at the centre of decision making on the other.
Get leaflets out to members urging them to vote for Daniel when ballot papers arrive. Share Daniel’s video. And chase up members in your school and district to make sure they vote – just like you did in the strike ballot.
Daniel’s campaign video. Watch and share:
French lessons- tous ensemble!