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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2014

Teachers need a date for national action

Martin Powell-Davies, Member of the NUT national executive

Teachers are facing yet more attacks on our conditions, when our existing intolerable workload is already driving many teachers out of the profession - a rate of 'wastage' that even head of Ofsted, Michael Wilshaw, has had to admit is a 'national scandal'.

Michael Wilshaw's answer to the crisis facing education - that teachers should 'stop moaning' is no solution.

Yes, we should complain but complaining will not change matters - only a serious campaign of action will do so.

NUT members are waiting for news from the emergency meeting of the National Executive that met on 16 January.

That meeting was called in the light of the commitment, made following the postponement of the strike action in November - a postponement that I opposed - that, instead, "in the event that insufficient progress is made in talks with the Secretary of State, a joint day of national strike action be called and taken no later than 13 February 2014".

Given that Michael Gove has so far refused to agree to meet separately with the NUT, NASUWT and Wales teachers' union UCAC to try and resolve our disputes, then clearly no such progress has been made.

However, Executive members have been asked to maintain confidentiality about the decisions made at the meeting.

All I can say is that discussions will be continuing at the next national executive meeting on 30 January and that, clearly, if action is to be taken before 13 February, then there is little time left to make such a strike announcement.

It's no secret the position that I would argue for: naming a date for a one-day national strike before 13 February as was promised, seeking to coordinate with other trade unions in dispute - like the RMT, FBU, PCS and Higher Education unions as well as the NASUWT, and, critically, making clear to both teachers and the Secretary of State that our next strike is not just a one-off protest action but part of an ongoing campaign with further industrial action and campaigning activities to follow in the spring and summer terms.

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In The Socialist 22 January 2014:


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Real living wage now

Capitalism is a system in crisis

Pay me - I'm a banker!

What exactly is the point of Labour?

Stop the NHS sell-off

Bedroom tax loophole: Can legal tactics be effective?

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Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt referendum: no enthusiasm for new constitution

"Ireland is a success story" rhetoric is based on spin


Education

Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February

Youth Fight for Jobs campaign in Croydon

An open letter to Tristram Hunt


Socialist Party workplace news

Transport workers have power to defeat cuts

Teachers need a date for national action

Teachers strike against threatened redundancies

NUT strikes against management "observations"

More action needed to defend Probation Service

Publicity alone can't save sacked union branch official

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lincoln marches against racism and fascism

Protest against Atos 'assessments' on 19 February

Salford workers and environmentalists challenge council

Stop cuts in Kent

Carlisle petition


Readers' comments and reviews

Benefits Street: A caricature of poverty

Leeds' forgotten dispute: The 1913-14 Corporation Strike

Robert Burns, insurrectionary poet


 

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Related links:

Teachers:

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

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triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

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triangleBosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

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triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

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triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

triangleLecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

NASUWT:

triangleMood for a fightback at education conferences

Martin Powell-Davies:

triangleShould you be furious about 'furious cycling'?

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