The Socialist

The Socialist 11 April 2018

Youth demand a future

The Socialist issue 990

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice

 
 
 
 
 

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NEU conference: Teachers vote to ballot over pay and workload

Anti-academies strike leader Louise Cuffaro speaks at the Socialist Party's fringe meeting at NEU conference 2018, photo by James Kerr

Anti-academies strike leader Louise Cuffaro speaks at the Socialist Party's fringe meeting at NEU conference 2018, photo by James Kerr   (Click to enlarge)

James Kerr, Lewisham NEU (personal capacity)

The National Education Union (NEU) conference (NUT section - the last ever before fully merged conference next year) took place in Brighton against the backdrop of a perfect storm building in our schools.

A teacher recruitment and retention crisis as a result of unsustainable workload is being compounded by massive cuts to school budgets. Major concerns about students' mental health, due in large part to the exam factory nature of our schools, have hit the headlines. There are serious questions about the strategy of our union leadership in beating back Tory attacks on education.

Where are we going?

The Socialist Party bulletin was aptly headlined 'Where are we going?' and the major test on this question was going to be over national strike action. Socialist Party members co-wrote and moved the key amendment to the motion on pay, which would commit the union to a ballot for national action in the new academic year on three key demands: 5% pay rise, a limit on teacher working hours and an end to performance-related pay.

The amendment was passed overwhelmingly with no-one speaking against. The hard work begins now to ensure the leadership follow through on this and we methodically build to meet the new ballot thresholds. The upcoming executive elections will be an important opportunity to thrash out a strategy to win and commit national executive committee members to it.

While there was a unified conference hall on the pay amendment, many fiery debates erupted during the weekend, showing the anger many delegates harbour, including over the representation of supply teachers on the new executive and the arrangements for conference next year.

It was on primary school testing that one of the other major debates was fought. The admission in the discussion that the executive had failed to carry out last year's policy to conduct a consultative ballot of primary members to boycott Sats, tests for seven and eleven-year-olds, set the scene.

Anger at a Groundhog Day-type scenario bubbled up to the surface. A motion to boycott a new pilot scheme of baseline tests for four-year-olds meant a proposal to boycott all primary tests was ruled out of order by the chair. The close vote on the original motion, only narrowly won, suggested an appetite to go much further and advance a bold programme of action.

Conference and fringe meetings also heard from strikers and parents at Avenue Primary, Newham. The NEU group there is engaged in a fight against academisation with Socialist Party member and Newham NEU secretary Louise Cuffaro leading the action.

Conference also discussed many international issues, organising young teachers, pedagogy and the curriculum, sexism in schools, Ofsted, the hijab and many other issues.


In this issue


What we think

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Socialist Party news and analysis

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


Customs union

A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


Local elections 2018

May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


International socialist news and analysis

Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice


 

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