Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/246/24845

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 March 2002

'Virgin Strikers' On The March

IN A week when MPs put their pay up to 55,000 and schools minister Estelle Morris' pay to over 135,000 - teachers in London went on strike to demand enough money to live on.

Debra Morano, Newham National Union of Teachers (NUT) committee member, personal capacity

All teachers have suffered a barrage of attacks, including OFSTED and SATS testing, targets and monitoring. This workload adds up to a 60-hour week. Young teachers are leaving the capital in droves, fed up waiting for their pay to increase as fast as the paperwork.

It was unanimously agreed by NUT members in my school to vote for strike action, so the whole school was closed on 14 March. In the build-up, members borough-wide were enthusiastic about the demonstration. At last we had an opportunity to make our voices heard.

Estelle Morris' comments, through pursed lips, that teachers are 'unprofessional' and the strike would be detrimental to the children's education only served to fuel our anger. Teacher shortages will prove far more damaging in the long run.

A finely tuned operation for the demo included a human banner with 20 members wearing a letter each (a logistical nightmare!), whistles and a collection of catchy political songs, undoubtedly stirred the more experienced teachers around us.

Many were on strike for the first time, some wearing homemade badges declaring: "I'm a virgin striker."

The success of the march is due to the work of Socialist Party and Socialist Teachers' Alliance members who mobilised from the ground, leading general secretary Doug McAvoy and the right-wing of the union.

The 10,000-strong demo was inspirational, with members demanding 6,000 London weighting, matching the police. A fresh layer of members are ready to escape their cloak of 'professionalism' and see themselves as workers. They understand the need to campaign with other public sector unions, particularly UNISON.

The Left needs to be bold, to ensure that this enthusiasm is built upon. The NUT leadership can no longer ignore its members.


"THIS IS not a day just to let off steam and wait until next year. Rather it has to be the first step in an ongoing campaign of action to get 6,000 for all London teachers now - before the London education service collapses.

I will be arguing that the union should lead that action, particularly in view of UNISON now moving closer to a strike on the same issue and talks of merger with the NASUWT."

Linda Taaffe, NUT executive member for outer London, addressing the strike rally

AT LEWISHAM NUT's annual meeting before the strike, we unanimously agreed a motion calling for a 6,000 allowance and if the government fails to respond, to take further action next term.

Martin Powell-Davies, Lewisham NUT

We believed this should include further strike action co-ordinated with other unions like UNISON and the second school teachers' union, NASUWT. We also called for non-strike action such as refusal to cover or split classes beyond the first day of unforeseen absence. This was put to the rally at the end of the demonstration and was agreed by popular acclaim.

Local union secretaries will be meeting on 21 March to discuss our next moves and there will be further discussion at the NUT conference over Easter.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 March 2002:

Fighting Back!

Hands Off Our Council Housing

Barcelona EC summit Biggest Anti-Capitalist Demo So Far

Postal Workers March Against Privatisation

'Virgin Strikers' On The March

No Support For Bush's War

Italian Working Class Moves Into Action


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 March 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

NUT:

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

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

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleEducation cuts forced back

triangleEducation cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure

Strike:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Teachers:

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

London:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: When Liverpool council defied the Tories

triangleSadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

14/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil youth march for justice

14/2/18

Foreign Aid

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity

14/2/18

TUSC

Building support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

14/2/18

EU

What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in

14/2/18

Rents

Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

14/2/18

Public ownership

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

14/2/18

NHS

We can win the fight for the NHS

7/2/18

Labour

NHS - build the fightback

7/2/18

Labour

Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

7/2/18

Haringey

Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

7/2/18

Refugees

90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

7/2/18

Outsourcing

Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

7/2/18

Trump

Trump v NHS

31/1/18

NHS

NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

31/1/18

Davos

Capitalists fear for their system at Davos

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999