Oakfield Primary Gateshead NEU strike
Oakfield Primary Gateshead NEU strike

Sheila Caffrey, NEU Exec, personal capacity

Teachers in the National Education Union (NEU) in schools and sixth forms in England and Wales have voted, in indicative ballots, overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over pay and funding, and exceeded 50% turnouts in each case.

This is a fantastic achievement for all the reps and members of our union! Most areas have had significant increases in membership since the last indicative ballot, so this includes thousands more teachers.

This is a strong mandate to move to a formal strike ballot. There will be a debate at national conference about whether to do so. Socialist Party members will say: Yes!

Thanks to Socialist Party members and other serious fighters on the Executive, we have a clear policy to consider ballot increases in the last week rather than just the overall turnout when considering next steps.

We will be arguing for a strong campaign to mobilise and engage the membership, highlighting funding as well as pay, and calling for a timeline that allows serious and escalating action in the summer term and into the autumn if necessary. This campaign should include teachers and support staff, whose indicative ballot ends soon.

We can share dates at the start of term as part of building for the ballot, so that trips etc can be moved. A campaign of action during June and July, which would build up momentum for the autumn, would pressure the Tory government and make clear our demands on the Starmer-led government we expect to see following a general election.

To discuss this and how to build a strong fighting union, with a leadership that is up to the challenges we face, come to the Socialist Party fringe meeting at NEU conference 12.30/lunchtime Thursday 4 April, Clifton Suite, Hermitage Hotel, Bournemouth BH2 5AH
Food provided – donations welcome