UNISON holds ballot for industrial action among school staff

UNISON holds ballot for industrial action among school staff

By an education worker and UNISON member in Coventry

The public sector union, UNISON, is currently holding a consultative ballot for industrial action among school support staff.

Three questions are being asked:

  • Do you believe that government funding cuts are having a negative effect on jobs, workloads, stress, pay and terms and conditions in your schools?
  • Do you believe that UNISON should continue to campaign on school funding for jobs, pay and terms and conditions?
  • Would you be prepared to take industrial action to secure more money for jobs, pay and terms and conditions in schools?

Socialists in UNISON are calling for a Yes vote on all three questions. School funding has reached crisis levels, and support staff are now expected to cover classes and take on more and more work. Our children, our teachers and our support staff deserve better than this, and the “little extras” we were promised by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, aren’t going to cut it.

We also need to go further and demand that our union ballots for industrial action properly, and co-ordinates action with other unions representing school staff and teachers. Parents and students should also be involved in a movement to demand more funding for our schools – we were promised an end to austerity, let’s fight for it!

Lively Coventry protest in solidarity with the mass uprising in Sudan

Lively Coventry protest in solidarity with the mass uprising in Sudan

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A large protest took place today organised by the Sudanese community in Coventry and Warwickshire in solidarity with the protests taking place in Sudan. Socialist Party members attended to show our support.

Broadgate was filled with men, women and children showing their anger against the brutal regime of Omar al-Bashir. His government have overseen attacks on protestors with many killed and even more injured.

As we wrote in a recent article, Sudan has been rocked by extensive anti-government protests since 19 December.

People in the diaspora have come out in large numbers outside Sudanese embassies to show their solidarity. In contrast, most media outlets in neighbouring countries have been silent.

State subsidies on flour have been removed in River Nile state, tripling the bread price overnight, and provoking the biggest protests in this part of Sudan for years.

After school meal costs were more than doubled, school students and hundreds of other people marched in Atbara. Protesters set fire to the main office of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and local government headquarters and ransacked the offices of the notorious NISS security services.

Protests continued into the night and spread to other towns. A state of emergency and curfew was declared in Atbara and all schools were shut down in the city.

On the second day, demonstrations continued in all River Nile towns, despite the state of emergency, and spread to the far east of the country. By 21 December, five states had declared night time curfews.

The government banned all social media apps, shut down the internet, suspended classes, and closed all universities and schools. From the next day, western parts of the country started to rise up in protest

Iman Elkhatim, a lawyer from Coventry gave us this message

Dear Friends from all around the world. My country Sudan is uprising against the dictatorship, massive protests are happening, death tolls increasing, social media had been suppressed by telecom companies. Please, help us to highlight the regime’s awful practices against demonstrators. Pass our voices to your media. #Sudan_towns_uprising.

The Socialist Party and the Committee for a Workers’ International pledges our solidarity to this movement and we urge working class people in Coventry and across the world to do the same.

To read more about the situation in Sudan, click here for an article in the current issue of The Socialist newspaper.

Photos from the protest will be posted in our Facebook page

If you would like to find out more about what where we stand on the situation in Sudan, and other issues, please fill in the form below!