Sunday 2 February 2014

National Executive: National Strike Action this Term

Thursday's NUT National Executive meeting had a full and thorough discussion of our joint action campaign with the NASUWT to defend pay, pensions, jobs and working conditions.  This included looking at action so far, the ongoing threat from government and the position of the NASUWT towards further action in defence of teachers and education.  As I have said previously, we have to consider both the importance of a strong response to government attacks and working to maintain and extend our united campaign with NASUWT.  This formed the core of the National Executive's discussion and there was agreement from all members that the NUT must continue to defend its members and our schools and students by taking further action this term.  We sincerely hope that this action will be taken jointly with other teachers unions but are preparing ourselves to take action alone if necessary.

However, the proposals and discussion ranged much wider than this.  There was a real recognition of the damage that this government is doing to the education system and to the future of our young people.  On this basis, the National Executive felt it was absolutely essential to engage parents and others in our campaign.  This will involve both wider campaigning around the issues of pay, pensions, jobs and workload but also looking at the dangers posed by the removal of qualified teachers from the classroom, the banning of local councils from opening new schools in areas of need, ill-thought-through curriculum and exam changes, the failure to recruit new teachers, and the increasing fragmentation of our schools system.

The NUT will be looking to mount a major national campaign on these issues, alongside parents and others, that aims to influence political decision makers to act in the interests of the majority of parents and students.

At the end of the discussion, the National Executive unanimously agreed the set of recommendations put to it by National Officers.  The following statement was send out Thursday evening to Local Secretaries:

The National Executive today made a series of decisions about taking our campaigning forward. These include decisions on national strike action this term, parent-facing campaigning and actions to put pressure on all political parties.

The Executive has agreed that the strike date will be published next Friday, 7 February and local officers and members will begin to receive further materials about the action from that date.

We will be urging all divisions to set up Saturday leafleting events as part of the parental engagement and of course there will be lots of work to do building for the strike. We
continue to hope that we will have other teacher organisations taking action with us but the decision that the Executive has made today on our recommendation is that we are preparing to take action alone if necessary.

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