STRB report leak shows our fight is having an impact…..

Now let’s step up the pressure

Fight for every vote in strike ballot

It was already vital that we organise and fight for every vote in our reballot, to beat the anti-union thresholds and send a clear message to the government that we are going to fight on to win a proper and funded pay rise.

The STRB report leak last weekend, if it is true, underlines even more why keeping up our fight and making sure we drive the turnout over the thresholds really matters.

The leak claims the STRB is recommending a 6.5 percent rise from September.

That’s a shift from anything that has been offered by the government up to now, and shows our strikes and pressure are having an impact.

Crucial questions

But it’s not enough and is still below inflation, and still below what teachers in Scotland settled for. It also leaves crucial questions unanswered.

  • What about this year’s pay – which is what our fight was originally about?
  • Will the government even accept the STRB recommendation-or will it try, as it has in the past, to refuse to accept it?
  • What about funding? Any pay rise that is not fully funded is worthless- and was a  key reason why members overwhelmingly rejected the previous offer- as did all the other teaching unions.

All four teaching unions- ourselves, the NASUWT, and the heads NAHT and ASCL- are balloting on strikes- and both Unison and our union are moving to start ballots of support staff too.

Our first priority has to be to pile the pressure on the government by ensuring we win our ballot and beat the anti-union thresholds.

And last week the NEU executive agreed that unless the government comes up with an acceptable pay offer it would, at its next meeting in June, agree dates in the week beginning 3rd July for three days of strikes as agreed at conference.

What to do

The STRB leak shows our pressure is starting to count.Now is the time to pile on the pressure.

  • Every school should hold a meeting- we know that where this happens it drives up the turn out
  • Every district should hold pay meetings and briefings and fight to get reps and members there- again we know from previous ballots that where this happens it drives up the turn out.
  • We need to push reps and other activists to go round school and chase down every vote and confirm this on the union dashboard.
  • We need to organise at a district and regional level to reach out to other schools in every way possible.
  • Phone banking, messaging- every weapon we have needs to be thrown into getting every possible vote in the post as soon as possible.

Our fight so far has been brilliant- now let’s pile on the pressure and make sure we win.

Disabled members conference

by Pablo Phillips

This year’s conference was excellent for those keen on building the strength of the Union.

That has been helped in large parts by exec seat holder Colleen Johnson over a number of years supporting various aspects of the disabled members network.

This year’s conference saw two motions passed, with one being prioritised. Both motions were outward looking rather than focusing on the negative aspects of bureaucratic union structures. The motion prioritised looks to build resources for educators to be able to build a sense of pride and accessibility for disabled members.

The motion not prioritised, but passed, from Louise Moores and John Myers, focused on building an organising model of training reps and officers in using the excellent disability toolkit. Speeches for both were well received and you could feel a sense of optimism and pragmatism on being able to do things within the union and in the workplace. 

The workshops were excellent also. “Its not Ok” looked at how sexual harassment impacts disabled members, “organising a disability pride event”, “using the toolkit” and workshops on “reasonable adjustments” all looked at member involvement rather than a top down or focussing on union positions within the structure approach. Finally a brilliant film showing of Then Barbara met Alan followed by Barbara lisciki speaking to conference was a real highlight.

Disabled members are a growing force in the union and we need to link the oppression of disabled members to the wider political attacks on education.

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