Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 November 2008

Scotland: Victory for the Vale of Leven Four

The SNP-led West Dunbartonshire council has dropped an investigation into four teachers from Vale of Leven Academy who refused to cross a picket line during recent industrial action by local government workers in pursuit of a decent wage settlement.

West Dunbartonshire council worker

This victory not only vindicates the actions of the teachers but highlights the importance of swift and unified action by the trade union movement.

The investigation, in part, was based on the charge that at least one of the teachers had joined the picket line and alleged intimidation of other teaching staff. However, only two teachers had been officially identified as feeling intimidated... after some encouragement by senior management.

This was the same senior management that scuttled around teachers the day before the action, telling them that they would be disciplined if they refused to cross the picket line, despite the fact that no such decision had been taken at that time by the director of education.

This action by West Dunbartonshire council, ably supported by senior management, had caused such outrage in the school that over 40 teachers had signed a petition saying that in no way had they been intimidated and that the investigation should be dropped immediately.

This local authority was trying to bully and intimidate its employees by stretching the truth to a tissue of lies but it has rebounded on them.

Support for the four teachers came in from trade unionists across the country. West Dunbartonshire council unions gave their full support, as did the leader of the Labour group.

Two local councillors issued a press statement claiming that the teachers were being victimised. This provoked a response from the director of education, saying that they should not have made such public statements.

Clearly, this is a new approach to democracy where paid officials tell elected representatives what they can and cannot say.

One of the four teachers had been informed by the head of legal services that he had breached council protocol by emailing councillors about the disciplinary investigation and asking them for their position on it. He was warned about his future conduct.

The janitor of the same school, who recently organised a meeting of 800 local government workers to complain about West Dunbartonshire council reneging on a Single Status agreement, has also been informed that he is to face a disciplinary investigation for writing to the local press about the issue.

A witch-hunt or what?

Management are only as strong as workers are prepared to allow. It is clear that other councils throughout Scotland will have been watching to see if West Dunbartonshire's attacks on its own workers would be successful.

Such public scrutiny of the attempted victimisation, the solidarity of the teachers within the school and the email protests from around the country were key to all charges being dropped.

The campaign ensured that this was no longer an internal issue of management intimidation.

In the words of one brother in Unite-TGWU from Manchester in his protest to the director of education: "The disciplinary process against these four teachers is not only an action more befitted to rogue employers of the 19th century than the public sector of the 21st century - but also an embarrassment to yourselves as this now circulates through the trade union movement".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 12 November 2008:

Socialist Party campaigns

Defend workers' jobs and pay

PCS union: Strike threat wins talks

Confined to one room

Fast news

Socialism 2008

Socialism 2008 - an inspiring weekend

War and occupation

Iraq, Afghanistan... End the occupations!

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

A political awakening propels Obama to victory

Why Labour won the Glenrothes by-election

Socialist Students

'Students in the Red' day of action

East Anglia region demands free education


NUT leadership fails to call strike

Scotland: Victory for the Vale of Leven Four

The workload of a teacher

Socialist Party review

Prescott: the class system and me


Facebook   Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 12 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:


triangle'Political awakening' continues in Scotland

triangleScotland TUSC conference

triangleScotland is in a party joining mood


triangleSalford: NASUWT strike against unreasonable treatment

triangleTeachers: Pay rise? What pay rise?

triangleNUT members angry at lack of October strike action

triangleNUT executive opposes participation in 14 October strikes


triangleLocal services suffer under Welsh Labour

triangleLeicester council hits homeless hostel

triangleAnti-eviction success!


triangleAcademies lead to nepotism and profit making

triangleCollege lecturers join 14 October strike





Ebola outbreak: one face of austerity



International day of action for abortion rights in Ireland



Ireland: Stunning byelection victory for Socialist Party



Obama's strategy to beat IS lies in tatters



Paul Murphy wins Dublin SW byelection


Hong Kong

Coordinated attacks on Hong Kong movement


Middle East

Middle East: Repel IS and Western imperialism


South Africa

South Africa: "A workers' party must emerge"


Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Massive anti-government protests after attempted police crackdown



Sweden: Conservatives collapse, extreme-right gains



Millions on streets for Catalan independence



Oppose the TTIP agreement


Global warming

Climate change: "We're running out of time"



Inequality and fightback in the United States



Ebola virus: Victims of a failed capitalist system

triangleMore International articles...

triangle24 Oct Rally press release

Part of the 18 October 2014 'Britain needs a pay rise' TUC demo, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle22 Oct Priced out? Strike back!

Socialist Alternative members on the People's Climate March in New York, 21 September 2014, photo Socialist Alternative

triangle22 Oct Socialist change to halt climate change

Militant supporters march against the poll tax, photo Steve Gardner

triangle22 Oct 50 years of socialist ideas and workers' struggle

triangle22 Oct The unions' pay battle must continue

TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB

triangle20 Oct TUC 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo

triangle20 Oct Care UK strikers lobby Miliband

More ...

triangle27 Oct London Socialist Party: Ebola and Racism

triangle27 Oct Birmingham Central Socialist Party: The environment - can it be saved under capitalism?

triangle28 Oct Birmingham South East Socialist Party: The rich are getting richer - will it cause a revolution?

triangle29 Oct Salford Socialist Party: A civil war without guns - lessons of the miners' strike

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook






October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

















Platform setting: = No platform choice