NASUWT strike at Starbank school, Birmingham, photo by Bob Severn

NASUWT strike at Starbank school, Birmingham, photo by Bob Severn   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Birmingham teachers strike for safe working environment

NASUWT teaching union members at Starbank school (Hob Moor Road site) in Birmingham took the first of two days’ strike action on 27 June over the school’s policies to deal with student behaviour.

Some students have been reported to carry knives, threaten staff and frequently fight, with violence in the classroom and playground, including a weekly ‘Thursday fight’. Staff have been physically harmed. For example, one teacher has been punched in the face, and another threatened with a weapon attack last year by a student who is still allowed to attend.

NEU members could join the second day of action in July. The teachers want a safe working environment for staff and students.

While negotiations have introduced some new school policies, they have not resulted in practical measures that address poor behaviour and support classroom teachers.

Paul Nesbitt, NASUWT West Midlands executive member, said: “The lack of effective action by the employer means we have been left with little choice but to call this strike action.”

Bob Severn, Birmingham South East Socialist Party

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 27 June 2019 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.