Academies

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 02/14/2018 - 13:47

As previously reported in Solidarity (461, 7 February), the Communication Workers′ Union Postal Executive has endorsed the agreement reached between CWU negotiators and Royal Mail, which will now be put to a vote of the membership.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 10 January, 2018 - 1:22 Author: Gemma Short, Peggy Carter and Charlotte Zalens

On 2 January a notice appeared on the staff noticeboards of some McDonald’s stores announcing a significant pay rise for workers.

Pay for under 18s will now go up to a minimum of £5.75, under 21s to a minimum of £6.75, under 25s to a minimum of £7.95, and over 25s to a minimum of £8 in London. All workers will get an above inflation pay rise of between 5.4 and 6.3%. It is the biggest pay rise McDonald’s workers have had in 10 years.

Taking on the “zombie” academies

Submitted by Matthew on 10 January, 2018 - 12:41 Author: Pat Murphy, National Education Union Executive, personal capacity
Academies protest

The Tories’ flagship education policy, the drive to make all schools academies, is floundering. As an explicit goal enshrined in legislation “forced academisation” was defeated before it developed any real momentum.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:24

The local government employers have proposed a two year pay offer for council and school support staff workers of 2% in 2018 and a further 2% in 2019.

Unison, GMB and Unite, as the largest unions representing local government workers, will now put the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

Initial statements from the three unions suggest they at least partially welcome a wage rise that is above the 1% pay cap, but it is well below the level needed to restore anywhere like the 20% cut that workers have faced since 2010.

Wakefield academy bosses rip off schools

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2017 - 10:04 Author: Patrick Murphy
Education Protest

In the first week of September, the Wakefield Academy Trust (WCAT) announced that they were no longer able “to facilitate the rapid improvement our schools need and our students deserve”. Just two days into a new school term WCAT was declaring its own dissolution and abandoning its 21 schools. But missing from the public statement or the letter to parents was any promise to return the millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money poured into the Trust since it was established in 2013.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:13

On Wednesday the 11, October Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons that the 1% pay cap will be lifted for NHS staff. After the government buckled under pressure and lifted the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers, the government had shown it was weak and it was only a matter of time before it was forced into lifting the cap for other workers.

Labour: rebuild the welfare state

Submitted by Matthew on 24 May, 2017 - 11:53 Author: Gemma Short

The welfare state created by the 1945 Labour government was a little bit of the “political economy of the working class” carved out of a still capitalist economy (a phrase Karl Marx first used to describe the victory of the fight for a ten-hour working day).

To some extent the ruling class has been forced to accept a minimal level of state provision. There is a constant battle over what proportion of profits is redirected, over who should receive support, and what sort of support is given. The ruling class has been winning that battle for some time.

Tories seek mandate to increase cuts, inequality, poverty

Submitted by Matthew on 3 May, 2017 - 7:41 Author: Martin Thomas

“Mrs May”, writes the Tory-leaning columnist of the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, “could not survive an election campaign saying so little so often if people paid attention”. Since so many don’t, “the repetition of slogans in lieu of answers carries no cost”. Fraser Nelson, another Tory, comments in the Spectator: “She seems to think that, if you refuse to give the press anything, the public won’t care. Worse, she seems to be right – for now, at least”. May’s purpose, so Nelson writes, is not to “seek a mandate”, but to evade one.

Industrial news in brief AWL Wed, 01/18/2017 - 13:44

Tube workers’ union RMT has announced its members on stations will strike again from 6 February unless London Underground bosses meet its demands for an increased staffing level. The company’s latest proposal is to reinstate 250 of the jobs it cut under the “Fit for the Future” programme, but RMT has rejected the offer as insufficient.

Ofsted prefers middle-class schools

Submitted by Matthew on 30 November, 2016 - 11:35 Author: Elizabeth Butterworth

Research on Ofsted points to endemic problems in the schools system and inspection regime. Last week, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) released important findings about the fairness of Ofsted reports in England. They found a “systematic negative correlation” between schools with children from poorer backgrounds or lower prior attainment and positive Ofsted judgments.