NEU Left Bulletin (15-01-24)

Drive Palestine solidarity into the workplacebuild 7 Feb day of action

Hundreds of thousands marched in London last Saturday

Last weekend saw a huge protest in solidarity with Palestine in London, as well as local protests and marches in many other towns and cities too. The anger is growing at the backing by Britain, the US and other western powers for the horror Israel is inflicting in Gaza. And the US and British led bombing of Yemen last week will make things even worse in the region too.

It’s not just in Britain the resistance is growing- Washington in the US saw the biggest pro-Palestine march yet at the weekend too.

A key task now is to deepen the movement and drive into our workplaces- where our real power lies. And in the case of the NEU that means into schools. It was good that our general secretary Daniel Kebede again spoke at the London march and there were NEU banners in the trade union bloc on the demo. But we need much more given the scale of the horror in Gaza and the MIddle East.

The Educators for a Free Palestine group has taken the initiative of calling a national zoom on Tuesday 23 January to share experiences and overcoming the challenges of discussing and organising around Palestine in schools. Already over 150 educators have signed up. Everyone should try and get along and bring others too so we help spread and deepen the movement. (see link below to register).

As well as this initiatives like the Cambridge teach out, organised jointly by the local NEU and UCU and others, are another example of what we can do to strengthen and extend the movement- see report below. We could do with more initiatives like this around the country.

A key date for everyone is Wednesday 7th February- the next workplace day of action called by Stop the War and Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Let’s make sure that something happens in as many schools as possible that day.

Trade union bloc on Saturday’s London demo

Educators for a Free Palestine

An online discussion about how we can create free spaces for Palestine in our schools and colleges.

Hear from educators who have made and are using resources to teach about Palestine.
Discuss how we deal with the clamp down on discussion and how we challenge the Prevent agenda.

🗓️Tue 23rd Jan
💻Register here

Teach out in Cambridge

by Paula Champion

During the first few weeks of the bombing on Gaza  students in palsoc supported by members of UCU  at Cambridge university organised some very successful and big Teach Ins . This model of sharing experience, opening debate about Palestine is important in building the movement and I felt that it would help our members in being able to think about how to raise solidarity and teaching in schools. Through a UCU activist I made contact with academics at the faculty of education and went to a teach in they held. We then agreed to build an event for educators in collaboration.

The session will be in two parts. The first will be presentations about life and education under occupation and debate about Zionism and anti semitism and the second part will focus on discussion around union solidarity and teaching in schools/ colleges/ unis. 

We are pleased to have Louise Regan representing the union nationally as chair of the international committee speaking . Our aim is the have further actions coming out of the session that we can work on together

Organise to Get the Vote Out in Funding and Pay ballot

With the indicative ballot on striking on funding and pay due to start in a few weeks it is vital that we organise systematically everywhere to ensure we get the maximum turn out.

Every district should be already organising district reps briefings, and looking to organise school meetings. Three districts- Waltham Forest, Haringey and Tower Hamlets have taken the initiative to call a national zoom on Monday 19th February. to help share experiences on how to organise to maximise the vote. Everywhere activists should fight to get the maximum numbers there.

Striking solidarity

On the picket line at Bulwell Academy in Nottingham last week

NEU members at Bulwell Academy in NOTTINGHAM are striking in a battle over working conditions and unacceptable management practices. Please rush messages of support to [email protected]

In COVENTRY NEU members at Blue Coat school are also striking over terms and conditions, incuding changes to redundancy policy. Get messages of support to [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]