At today's NUT National Executive, Christine Blower reported on the wide range of local campaigning activities and action taking place across the country.
NUT members at STEM 6 'free' school in London have secured an important victory in gaining union recognition in the face of the owners' refusal to engage with the Union. The threat of six days strike action seems to have been enough to break the impasse in negotiations. The Executive sent congratulations to members, the rep and the division secretary.
Disputes at Gateway Sixth Form College in Leicestershire and Henley Sixth Form College in Oxfordshire have escalated to strike action. In both cases, members are holding firm and there is an excellent chance of success. Victories in these disputes will not only improve things for teachers and their students but will also give confidence to other NUT members facing attacks on their terms and conditions.
A hugely successful Education Question Time has been held in London with over 250 people in attendance. This is one of a series of events taking place across the country, organised by local NUT Associations. They are a crucial part of engaging parents and the wider community in our campaign to defend education from attacks by the current government. The National Executive agreed to promote the organisation of similar events to local activists.
The NUT/Compass enquiry into education held a successful conference on 18th January. Key themes included governance and accountability. However, the enquiry has so far paid insufficient attention to questions of equality, equity, social justice and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. There were also serious concerns from a number of National Executive members about the contribution made by Tristram Hunt, which failed to offer a real alternative to the neoliberal assault on our education system. The NUT will ensure that the areas of weakness receive increased attention in the draft report to be released in early March. There will then be further consultation before the final report is released. All NUT members are urged to contribute to the enquiry and to organise local events to contribute to the enquiry.
Our campaign will involve a whole range of tactics but some of the initiatives taken by local NUT Associations are a real inspiration in taking it forward. At the end of the day, it is local ation which will win this campaign as local Associations reconnect with local parents and local communities.