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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 October 2019

NEU members strike against sixth-form funding cuts

NEU pickets at Notre Dame sixth-form college, photo Iain Dalton

NEU pickets at Notre Dame sixth-form college, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

"The funding for school kids has been cut catastrophically, but the cuts for students aged 16-18 have been even worse," said Alan Clifford, National Education Union (NEU) teachers' rep at Notre Dame Sixth Form College, to Socialist Party members visiting their picket line.

Notre Dame was one of 25 sixth-form colleges where NEU members, both teachers and support staff, took strike action on 17 October. The sixth-form college sector has faced cuts of 1.1 billion since 2010.

Consequently, "class sizes have got bigger, our pay has been depressed," Alan explained. In recent years pay for sixth-form college teachers has been separated from schools as well.

A good turnout of NEU members on the picket line was joined by other trade unionists and several students from the college.

As Alan made clear, the 400 million pledged from the government to education both "isn't real yet, but is nowhere near enough to reverse the cuts that we've suffered."

If the Tory government doesn't budge, then NEU members will be back out on strike on the 5 and 20 November.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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 23 October 2019:


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