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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 July 2010

Education workers must teach Tories a lesson

TRADE UNIONS organising education workers, including NUT, NASUWT and UNISON, lobbied parliament on 19 July against the disgraceful cancelling of building and repair work to be carried out under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme and the undemocratic fast-tracking of the Con-Dems' flagship Academies bill.

Greg Maughan

Over 1,000 education workers piled into Westminster central hall for a rally before lobbying MPs. Teachers had also mobilised students who posed for TV cameras with homemade banners and placards and later headed an impromptu march on the Department for Education office on Whitehall.

Students told The Socialist how major problems with their school building, including holes in the walls and broken windows, made it impossible for them to concentrate. These problems had been due to be fixed as part of BSF.

Education workers clearly have the support of their pupils, parents and the wider working class. Education workers' unions should be confident to call further action calling for improvements to be made to schools, though not involving profit-grabbing private firms who tend to divert resources from meeting students' and teachers' needs into the pockets of fat cats!

They should also call action against privatisation and the break-up of national trade union agreements stemming from the Academies bill.

This could include making preparation for strike action in September, but will also need to involve action to continue campaigning over the summer.

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