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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 December 2020

Determined strikers at Leaways school

Leaways school strike

Leaways school strike   (Click to enlarge)

Chris Newby, Hackney Socialist Party

NEU members at Leaways school in Clapton, East London, are taking part in a six-day strike spread over three weeks. The school is run by private company Kedleston Group, and teaches children from across London with autism and social emotional and mental health difficulties.

Teachers and support staff are angry that the school is not providing the conditions to enable them to give students the best possible education. They are demanding that the school gives them parity with the 2.75% pay award that teachers in state schools have received, instead of the 1% the school has offered them, and an increase in the number of days sick pay, which currently stands at seven days a year. They are also demanding an increase in the number of staff as classes are currently understaffed.

NEU members on the picket line explained the terrible conditions that they and the students work in. This is a four-storey building where the heating doesn't work above the ground floor. This, coupled with the fact that windows have to be left open because of Covid, means that teachers, education assistants and students have to keep their coats on the whole day because it is so cold. Also, there are not enough computers to go around for the students. There are also no outdoor play areas for the students.

The striking NEU members are very determined to win their demands. There have been about 30 to 40 on the picket line, with lots of homemade placards. It is clear that there is a lot of local support, with many passing motorists tooting their horns. The strikers were very pleased to see Socialist Party members visiting the picket line to offer their support. The next three days of strikes run from 15-17 December.

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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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 16 December 2020:


News

Unemployment and Covid rising - the crisis is not over - Fight for jobs and safety

Mass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

Fight for NHS pay and funding

Rich countries hoarding vaccine is danger to us all

No to Tories' new anti-protest law

Maternity unit deaths - democratic, public ownership needed

Met police investigate British mercenary war crimes against Tamils

No surprise, poverty is rising


Education

Cancel exams for class of Covid

Welsh schools close for safety after union pressure

Effective testing and properly funded safety plan needed in schools

East London shows the way: strikes are how to fight for state education

Determined strikers at Leaways school


Workplace News

Openreach and EE: Massive vote for action

PCS union conference stripped of powers by NEC

Unite launch ballot over sacked London bus rep

Christmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

Stop 'fire and rehire' at British Gas


New Technology

Can green technology and AI save capitalism?


Engels

'Socialism - Utopian and Scientific' by Engels


Reports & campaigns

Protests in solidarity with Indian farmers

Book: The national question - a Marxist approach

School boy assaulted by police in Tottenham

TUSC relaunch in the north west

Protest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham

Tremendous fighting fund reflects confidence


Quiz

Quiz 2020


 

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