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:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Scotland & the national question

triangleScottish Labour leadership: more of the same

triangleEurope: a new wave of workers' struggle has begun

triangleScottish TUSC conference votes to stand candidates in 2015

triangleLeading Scottish trade unionists back TUSC

Teachers:

triangleSedgehill School besieged by privateers

triangleThe battle for Sedgehill school

triangleStudents join Lambeth walkout

triangleEducation: "a hurricane of ill thought initiatives"

Council:

triangleIs the Green Party the answer?

triangleEnd the housing crisis

triangleCouncillor ends long-term suspension from Labour

Education:

triangleLeicester marches for free education

triangleYouth unemployment: anxiety and anger

International

International

28/1/15

Greece

Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

27/1/15

Greece

Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

23/1/15

Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant's response to Obama's address

21/1/15

Greece

Greece: Syriza victory would raise workers' hopes

14/1/15

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan elections: Butcher Rajapaksa defeated

14/1/15

France

Charlie Hebdo: no to terrorism

14/1/15

Germany

Germany: what is behind Pegida?

7/1/15

Government

Greece: towards a Syriza government?

10/12/14

US

Uprising against police violence in the US

3/12/14

Health

World health crises show: Capitalism kills!

26/11/14

Ireland

Ireland: establishment attacks water tax protests

26/11/14

Mexico

Anger grows over missing Mexican students

26/11/14

World economy

World economy - heading for the junkyard

26/11/14

USA

Anger erupts in Ferguson over acquittal of killer cop

19/11/14

Nigeria

Unreported Nigeria: Class struggle and inequality

triangleMore International articles...

Social housing not social cleansing! photo Paul Mattsson

triangle28 Jan End the housing crisis

triangle28 Jan Strike called off in face of inadequate offer

A Greek worker demonstrating in Thessaloniki, photo Ged Travers

triangle28 Jan Syriza victory shows austerity elite can be beaten

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle28 Jan Is the Green Party the answer?

triangle28 Jan Government welfare cuts: No to sanctions!

triangle27 Jan Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse

triangle27 Jan Councillor ends long-term suspension from Labour

More ...

triangle31 Jan London: March for Homes

triangle2 Feb Chesterfield Socialist Party: Europe today - a turbulent period in history

triangle2 Feb Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Greek workers fighting back against austerity

triangle3 Feb Bristol Socialist Party: Greece revolts against austerity

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

January 2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice