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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 July 2015

Cardiff teachers strike against 'death wish' workload

A picket line at Fitzalan High School, photo by Cardiff Socialist Party

A picket line at Fitzalan High School, photo by Cardiff Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Teachers at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff struck on 9 July against new timetables. The dispute could be a test case for the council's attempts to force more from workers.

Changes would increase the number of lessons by 15%. Teachers are already exhausted.

Teachers' unions NUT and NASUWT are demanding more staff if plans go ahead. A recent national survey found 89% of teachers with mental health problems blame workload.

"If my resolve ever weakens, I always think of ex-colleagues," one said. "We're not just taking action for our own sake. Conditions are so bad now that wanting to go into teaching feels more like a death wish than a vocation."

Picket lines were well-attended, well-organised and effective. Local media reported almost 100 teachers stayed away.

Management predictably downplayed the impact, but reports from inside tell of chaos reigning. The school stayed open despite the absence of teachers - and despite caretaking staff organised by general union GMB refusing to cross the picket line.

Joint action

Discussion has also erupted among non-teaching staff. Their appetite is building for joining the action.

Support workers' union membership numbers had been weakened by what members describe as a feeble response from their union to negotiations. Some had lost almost a fifth of their salary.

But now, many are discussing re-joining - and this time holding union leaders to account.

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The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 15 July 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Living wage lie

Fightback essential following Osborne's hatchet budget

Labour's austerity 'me too-ism' continues

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

EU revenge against Greek workers

Greece: Tsipras crosses the Rubicon

The Marikana report - a whitewash

International news in brief


Socialist history

2005: Jean Charles de Menezes shooting


Workplace news and analysis

Labour council axes union facility time

Cardiff teachers strike against 'death wish' workload

Transport workers shut down tube and railway

Biggest union clings to Labour, but considers law-busting strikes

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party feature

Reverse social care sell-offs


Socialist Party review

Orphan Black - refreshing take on sci-fi story


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Angry coordinated protests and solidarity

Osborne attacks youth... we take to the streets!

Record attendance at Durham Miners' Gala

200 march against closure of Longton Cottage Hospital

Bromley Unite members stop council tax bailiffs

Road accident highlights need to save school crossings


 

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