Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/523/3862
Teachers must reject real pay cuts
DURING THIS month, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is organising a national strike ballot. This gives teachers across England and Wales the chance to stand firm together, to make clear we're not going to sit back and see our salaries cut, our workload get ever harder and our schools further divided by tables, targets and privatisation.
Martin Powell-Davies and Linda Taaffe
It has been over 20 years since teachers last took national action - two decades when conditions for staff, and our students, have been ground down by successive governments. It is time to say that enough is enough!
Don't be fooled by Gordon Brown's claims that our pay is keeping up with inflation. We've already had three years when our pay awards have fallen behind the Retail Price Index. No wonder many teachers are already beginning to feel the pinch.
Unless we act, teachers face three more years of real pay cuts. Bills will continue to rise - but teachers' pay won't keep step. The best way to make sure our complaints are noticed is to take united national strike action. So teachers must vote for it!
Like other workers, we watch the news about financial volatility and wonder how it will affect us, our own children and the pupils we teach. The big business 'masters of the universe' have reaped the dividends when the going was good.
Now that the market looks shaky they want to make workers pay. And they expect Gordon Brown and his New Labour government to do their bidding.
Hence Brown's demand to hold down public-sector pay. We say 'no way'. We have to fight back. We cannot afford not to. Teachers need a clear strategy to win. A key part of that is to bring together public-sector trade unions and take united joint action to win decent pay for all.
In The Socialist 4 March 2008:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International Women's Day
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis