Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/556/6609

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


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:

Scotland:

triangleSocialist policies needed to answer Project Fear

triangleScotland: Countdown to independence referendum

triangleThe games that Glasgow Labour plays

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Scotland and the referendum

triangleScotland: Threat of a Yes majority forces concessions

Teachers:

triangleNUT: Over 10,000 votes for Martin Powell-Davies

triangle'Trojan Horse': who is attacking education?

triangleThe Socialist postbag

triangleSchools - Would things get better under Labour?

Council:

triangleChester solidarity with Doncaster Care UK workers

triangleWelsh councils have a choice

triangleSurrey council workers look to strike on pay

Education:

triangleFight for real jobs

triangleSocialist Party news

International

International

20/8/14

Seattle

Jess Spear election success

20/8/14

Racism

USA: Ferguson erupts over police killing

6/8/14

Gaza

End the siege of Gaza

6/8/14

Argentina

Argentina: Another debt default

30/7/14

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka USP appeal for protests

29/7/14

Gaza

Gaza in crisis - Mass action needed to stop bloodshed

15/7/14

Gaza

No more onslaught on Gaza!

11/7/14

Isaac Babel

Issac Babel: 120th anniversary

11/7/14

Gaza

Solidarity protests against Israeli state terror

9/7/14

Palestine

Israel-Palestine: Netanyahu government fuels protests

2/7/14

Sri Lanka

Solidarity needed against nationalist attacks in Sri Lanka

2/7/14

South Africa

South Africa - victory in platinum miners' strike!

25/6/14

Israel

Israel: Nationalist thugs assault CWI members

25/6/14

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Pro-Beijing newspaper attacks socialists

18/6/14

Brazil

Brazil: Upsurge in struggles of workers and homeless as the World Cup begins

triangleMore International articles...

triangle29 Aug Fast Food Rights Day of Action

NHS workers on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle20 Aug We can't live on poverty pay!

London Gaza demo 19 July 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle20 Aug Capitalism means war: Join the Socialists!

triangle20 Aug Fight for real jobs

Women munitions workers during World War One

triangle20 Aug Protests, strikes and equality: Women in World War One

triangle19 Aug The People's March for the NHS

triangle19 Aug BT CWU members vote for strike action in latest consultation

More ...

triangle30 Aug Newport: Anti-NATO demonstration

triangle3 Sep Mansfield Socialist Party: Save our NHS

triangle3 Sep Salford Socialist Party: Marxism in today's world

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice