Teachers want action from their trade union – views from a Coventry teacher
The following piece was written by a teacher from Coventry and was carried in the latest issue of ‘The Socialist’ newspaper. Since it was published a majority on the National Executive have voted to oppose taking joint industrial action on 14 October.
You can read more about this disappointing decision here.
If you are in a teacher and member of the NUT and want to help build the fight for co-ordinated action in the union, please fill in the form at the bottom of the article.
By Nicky Downes
At my school in Coventry a number of staff have been out on strike, picketed, attended marches and rallies each time the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have been on strike.
Although the concessions we have won so far have been relatively small, the understanding is still there that we must continue the action until we win improvements in pay and pensions, an end to Performance Related Pay and improvements to workload.
The local NUT executive in Coventry has, before each strike, lobbied the union’s national executive to make sure the action is continued and escalated. This important action has been mentioned at national executive meetings. Other local associations should do the same.
Continuing with the odd day’s strike will not win. There is a mood for escalating to two days of action or more if necessary. This does, however, need to be built for.
The NUT will be surveying its members over the next few weeks to judge the mood. This is after a break when struggling to work 60 hour weeks has not been an issue. During this time the only communications from the union have been adverts for a week’s break at the union owned Stoke Rochford Hall,and for insurance. It would have been a good time to take stock of what we have achieved so far and to build for action in October.
Teachers in my school and across the country will be both angry and surprised if we do not strike with other public sector workers on 14 October. It’s interesting that the survey won’t be finished by then. I hope this means that the union already feels committed to striking on that date and the survey will merely be to confirm the necessity for further, and likely escalating, action in the future.