Education unions

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Peggy Carter, Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Darren Bedford

As Solidarity went to press on 20 January, health unions were meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The NHS pay dispute is escalating. It started timidly with two days of four-hour strikes. But now there will be a 12 hour strike on 29 January, followed by a 24 hour strike on 25 February involving most of the unions in the NHS.

There were problems with the two four hour strikes. In some areas unions scuppered their own action by granting lavish “exemptions”, encouraging many members to go to work.

Health unions meet Government; new offer at Lambeth College; Brighton hospital workers balloted; Barnet care workers to strike; Essex firefighters strikes solid despite lockout.

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Vote Patrick Murphy in NUT election

According to an National Union of Teachers (NUT) survey, 30% of teachers have been denied pay progression this year under new performance related pay rules brought in from September 2013.

The survey also found that denial of pay progression was higher in primary schools that in secondary schools, and was higher for black and minority ethnic teachers. 90% of those denied progression reported that there was no indication in the year that this was a possibility.

Workers’ Liberty member Patrick Murphy is standing in the NUT Deputy General Secretary election on the basis of a strike strategy for the union which doesn’t delay and leave gaps between strikes and which names dates in advance, and involving members in deciding the future of the dispute.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Darren Bedford, Gerry Bates, Charlotte Zalens and Micheál McEoin

As Solidarity went to press on 13 January, bus drivers across London were staging a 24 hour strike in a bid to level up pay across the capital.

London’s bus network is outsourced to 18 different companies. Each one of these companies has their own pay scales and the union Unite must separately negotiate pay with all 18 companies. As a result pay differs by up to £3 an hour across the capital for drivers doing the same work. Unite is calling for a London wide pay scale.

London bus drivers. Essex firefighters, clothing workers and college staff strike; Haringey council cuts; sacked rep reinstated.

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Elect Pat Murphy as NUT deputy general secretary

Patrick Murphy, a founder of the schools activist network Lanac, a socialist, and a member of Workers' Liberty, is running for deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers. The ballot will be between 5 and 28 January.

Workers' Liberty member Patrick Murphy is standing for Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, in a ballot running from 6-26 January.

Patrick is standing for a radically different vision of how the union should be run, one where the union is controlled from the workplace. He is calling for workplace branches to form part of the NUT structure, and for one union for all school workers.

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Teachers: cut the hours!

Author: 

A London teacher

Nicky Morgan replaced Michael Gove as education minister in July. Tory prime minister David Cameron wanted her to continue Gove's drive for academies and free schools, but smooth the sharp edges and win back some of the Tories' lost support among teachers and others concerned with schooling.

She asked teachers for ideas on easing workload, in a survey which closed on 21 November, and says she will announce plans in the New Year.

Some schools put heavy pressure on teachers to be on site between 7.30 am and 6 pm; and, unlike in other countries, there is no set limit on classroom hours.

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Save our schools!

Author: 

Duncan Morrison and Harry Davies

A packed Stop Academies in Lewisham (SAIL) meeting on Monday 8 December heard that Lewisham NUT has begun indicative strike ballots in 5 secondary schools which are considering going for academy status.

The meeting also heard from school students who are planning walk outs and have already organised petitioning of their fellow students in the schools affected.

Parents were also present and explained how they were attempting to put pressure on the governors of the schools, local councillors, the local authority’s education department and the directly elected mayor.

The real reason for the academisation of schools is financial and ideological.

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Left challenge in NUT

Author: 

Pat Murphy

I am standing for Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) against incumbent Kevin Courtney and right-winger Ian Grayson. I stand for a radically different way of running the union, for a union that is organised from the bottom up not just one that has “left wing” leaders at the top.

Power in the workplace

A statement by Pat Murphy who is standing for Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers about the key issues facing members.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Following a re-ballot which returned 83% in favour of strikes on a 58% turn out, Lambeth College UCU will be on their first day of new strikes on Thursday 4 December.

The dispute is over changes to contracts which see two weeks cut off annual holidays, a massive reduction in sick pay entitlement, and extra hours of teaching with no extra pay. UCU members at Lambeth college were re-balloted following a court injunction against their previous indefinite strike plan.

Lambeth College walkout; stop Academies in Lewisham; Tube strikes for sacked workmate; QEH strikers in talks.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Sacha Ismail and Gemma Short

Over two hundred outsourced workers who are members of the GMB at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London struck for 48 hours on 24-26 November.

On the 24th the workers, who are employed by Dutch multinational ISS as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters, struck alongside directly employed NHS staff striking for their national pay dispute.

Woolwich Hospital cleaners walk out; Care UK strikers agree to pay deal; strikes to defend victimised NUT rep suspended.

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Sell-out in UCU dispute

Author: 

Lucy Clement

After only two weeks of action, the marking boycott in pre-92 universities has been put on hold until mid-January.

The decision to abandon the action for talks just as it was beginning to bite has prompted furious criticism by branches, unhappy at the enormous compromises the leadership seems prepared to accept to cut a deal. There is already evidence that universities are taking advantage of the suspension to bring forward exam-setting deadlines. This will make it much harder to make action effective in January.

After only two weeks of action, the marking boycott in pre-92 universities has been put on hold until mid-January.

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