Alistair Tice
Members of the teachers' union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

Members of the teachers’ union NUT on the 26 March TUC demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

National Union of Teachers (NUT) members at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham have secured victory in their fight to stop compulsory redundancies. The new headteacher had wanted over 30 redundancies, including 25 teachers, to cut a management created deficit.

NUT members took nine days of strike action which reduced the threatened job losses to four teachers, of which the only NUT member was Ralph Dyson, the union rep at the school.

Action was then resumed after Easter with three more strike days and a further three-day and then five-day strike planned. This determined stance finally forced the head to back down and accept a compromise that keeps Ralph as a teacher at the school.

Whilst teachers have made concessions to help avoid compulsory redundancies, there is absolutely no doubt that it is only through the NUT members’ strike action and solidarity that this victory has been achieved. That will inspire and give confidence to teachers elsewhere to fight the cuts.

At the same time, it’s been a disgrace that the head has been backed by the Labour-led local education authority in not only making the cuts, but victimising the trade union rep at the school.

Ralph would like to thank all those who have given support and backing: “At times we have felt deeply humbled and proud by the support, advice and backing we have received. We know that the fight is not yet over and there are many hurdles to overcome. So may we take this opportunity to thank you all from all of us here at Rawmarsh Community School NUT.

“Without the above, the fight would have been a lot lonelier place to be and harder to fight for. At times when the resolve has been shaky your backing has been comforting and inspirational. The whole experience has been life changing and learnt us a lot about ourselves and others. It has given us the energy and motivation to keep up the fight.”