Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/27742

Posted on 27 July 2018 at 13:39 GMT

Staff strike in the NEU

Socialist Party members in NEU

With the New Education Union (NEU) just ten months old and hopefully gearing up for a national fight over pay and workloads, many members and activists were shocked and surprised to see that there was a national strike of NEU staff on Thursday 19th July and all union offices were closed, with the threat of more strike action to come.

The strike by Unite and GMB members has been provoked by major cuts in jobs and cuts in pay being imposed on staff by the senior management team of the NEU.

We now discover via the press that many jobs have already been cut through "voluntary redundancy" and that other workers are to be forced into lower graded jobs (albeit with pay protection for a period of time).

Many activists will rightly ask why and how this can be happening in our union? Why has there been no debate with the branches and members as to what they want the shape of the union to look like and where they want staffing resources to be placed.

If the union now finds itself in financial problems we need to know; and why weren't we told before the merger between the NUT and ATL? Why have all the senior leadership sorted jobs out for themselves and why do we still have two general secretaries and more unelected assistant general secretaries than Nato!

At a time of ever more attacks on union facility time and overall on education we need to know that our union staff are placed where we need them most - on the front line defending our jobs, wages and conditions.

Full discussion needed

What's the rush? If it is the case that the union is forcing staff in the regions into lower graded jobs they don't want, why not transfer them on their existing role while a through debate can take place on what we do and don't need, want and can afford (after all we are going to be paying them the same salary for the next five years anyway).

Surely if we are going to lead a national fight over pay and workload we need all our staff on board and motivated. We should be looking to grow our way out of any problem and the only way we can do this is to be seen to lead a fight to defend our members.

Of course we can't treat a trade union like another employer; its sole purpose for existence is to defend members' jobs, wages and conditions and not to provide well paid jobs for its staff. The union can't spend money it doesn't have.

We do not support a raid on branch funds either, that has been raised by some. This is money that gives the branches some autonomy in the fights and campaigns run locally without having to go cap in hand to the national union to beg for money to print a leaflet or book a room for a meeting, as happens in the ATL section.

This would be a dangerous move that would concede too much power to the officialdom in the union.

There may well be branches hoarding money and doing nothing with it, which needs to be addressed. This could be done, for instance, by giving incentives for those branches to do campaigning and maybe penalties for those who are simply accumulating monies. This has happened in the likes of Unison with the support of activists.

In the end it's for the members of the union to determine who they want to employ and on what pay, terms and conditions.

The Socialist party would like to see the election of all full time officials with any negotiating powers, and for them to be on a wage more akin to the wage of an experienced education worker or even seconded out of the job they are in. This would of course include the General Secretaries and the Assistant General Secretaries.

We call on the union lay leadership to step in and resolve this dispute as quickly as possible, and remove the threat of immediate forced redeployment and down-gradings.

Use the time for a full and proper debate on how we can address the problem, but this time involving the branches on what they want and where.

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






Related links:

Strike:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The General Strike - the working class's most powerful weapon

triangle8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

triangleSouth Western rail guards hit 18 strike days

triangleStrike raises pay at Liverpool airport

Union:

triangleCoordinated catering and courier strikes prove potential for mass union mobilisation

triangleHospitality workers coordinate historic strike

Jobs:

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Build a movement against racism

Pay:

triangleWorkers' action wins Amazon pay rise

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/10/18

Haringey

'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

12/10/18

Film

Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism

12/10/18

Universal Credit

New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

10/10/18

Fighting Fund

Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns

10/10/18

Huddersfield

Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on

10/10/18

Leicester

Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services

10/10/18

Liverpool

Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport

10/10/18

Palestine

Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."

10/10/18

Liverpool

Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"

10/10/18

South Western Railway

South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days

10/10/18

Eastleigh

Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut

10/10/18

Southwark

Another first: pub strike victory in south London!

10/10/18

Strike

First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

10/10/18

UCU

We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes

10/10/18

Glasgow

8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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: 0784 114 4890

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


October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999