London NEU strike demo: Photo: Helen Pattison
London NEU strike demo: Photo: Helen Pattison

Sheila Caffrey, NEU NEC member (personal capacity) and candidate for NEU vice-president

The Tories told education unions that before imposing minimum service levels (MSLs) during strike action in schools, they would discuss with the unions. The talks have ended without agreement.

The union’s National Executive (NEC) met on Saturday 2 December. Socialist Party members on the NEC proposed what is necessary for the union to fight MSLs. The amendment below was passed by the NEC:

The general secretaries of all the education unions have rightly condemned the Tory government’s phoney consultation on minimum service levels.  We note the disdain the government treated the talks with the education unions, and fear that this reflects the attacks to come if we do not make it clear we will resist.

Therefore, we must also state clearly what we will do.

The NEU should demand of all employers, but especially Labour authorities, that, like the Scottish government, they refuse to cooperate and refuse to issue work notices

The NEU must call on the TUC to implement the decisions it made at its September Congress in full – including a mass trade union demonstration and 100% support for any union attacked – and should encourage NEU members to lobby the TUC Special Congress on 9 December to that effect

The NEU must demand that a Starmer-led government does not implement, and instead repeals, the MSL legislation – along with the other anti-trade union legislation. In the meantime, we should call on Starmer to pledge to underwrite any fines levied on unions this side of a general election

The NEU should make it clear to all members that any school group taking action will receive the full backing of the union in resisting MSLs and opposing any victimisation

Should the union receive a work notice, it should call an emergency Executive to plan next steps to defend our right to take industrial action without government and employer interference

  • Sheila Caffrey is seeking nominations from NEU districts to stand in the election for vice-president of the union. Nominations are open until 15 December