Class Struggle's blog

Debate on the NEU and balloting

1. Todd Hamer

To the casual observer there is something very odd about what is happening in the National Education Union. For some weeks the NEU leadership has rightly argued that it would be unsafe to reopen schools until there is a lower number of Coronavirus cases making possible tracing and...

Unite, schools and 1 June

The big union Unite has signed up to the “education unions' statement on the safe reopening of schools". This statement calls on the government “to step back from 1 June” and identifies the following core principles:

• Safety and welfare of pupils and staff as the paramount principle

• No increase...

Children, parents, school workers: stand together!

The education unions are right to say schools should not accept further mass return of pupils until the five tests are met. We should fully support any school workers who will take action on health and safety grounds from 1 June to keep their workplaces open only to vulnerable and key workers’...

Make the schools safe!

The government’s aspiration to open schools to all Year 6, Year 1, Reception and Nursery children on 1 June is likely to be largely unrealised.

That is good. We all want children back in our schools, but the number of cases and the continual spread of the virus indicate that it is not sufficiently...

When and how can schools re-open?

The debate about schools re-opening has intensified in the last week. It is clear that the government and their closest media friends have decided to ramp up the pressure to open. On April 30th Johnson let it be known that he would make a major announcement the following week on government plans to...

The SWP and high-stakes testing

By Duncan Morrison

For the last four years members of the Socialist Workers’ Party have fought militantly AGAINST the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and then the National Education Union (NEU) balloting its members to boycott SATs and the other high-stakes test in primary schools.

That’s right,...

Organising an NEU branch in the Covid 19 Crisis

By a Lewisham school worker

When the schools closed on 20th March the national union had already asked reps to set up WhatsApp groups for their school groups. In Lewisham we encouraged our reps to do this. The branch has weekly Zoom meetings open to all activists. These meetings enable us to monitor...

Lewisham to ballot for boycotting

By Duncan Morrison, Assistant Secretary Lewisham NEU

After a meeting with the National Education Union’s Action Committee, school workers in Lewisham hope the committee will allow us to have another indicative ballot on boycotting high stakes testing in primary schools in December.

That should be...

NEU Conference Motions for 2020

From representation of support staff to combating antisemitism, from carrying forward the fight against testing to building solidarity with the oppressed Uyghur in China Workers' Liberty school workers have a huge range of motions for you to read and consider supporting for NEU conference 2020.

The...

“I’m in the House of Lords at last”

Christine Blower, former general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), has been made a peer in the resignation honours list.

She follows other once-left union leaders into the halls of privilege, people like Hugh Scanlon, once left-wing leader of the engineering union (now part of Unite...

School funding: don't give comfort to Tory election gimmicks

Patrick Murphy (personal capacity)

On Friday August 30th the Tory government announced an increase in funding for schools over the next 3 years. They spun it as a £14bn increase and Boris Johnson boasted that this would “make sure every child receives a superb education regardless of which school...

Carrying Forward the Fight on Testing

Patrick Murphy (personal capacity)

The NEU Executive met on July 13th to consider the full detailed results of the recent indicative ballot on high stakes primary testing. Much of the information discussed was confidential but the basic picture was fairly clear. Opposition to the testing regime and...

Boycott High Stakes Summative Testing in Primary Schools

The system of testing in our schools is a form of state-sponsored child abuse. The process of testing which begins in year one destroys a love of learning, humiliates children and stifles developing minds. English school children are now among the most tested in the world. Motion 16, ‘Boycott...

How to Fight the Right, How Not to Fight the Right

On 29 March, the day the UK was due to crash out of the European Union, the pro-Brexit right mobilised in central London.

Thousands marched for Brexit and the SWP front, Stand Up to Racism (SUTR), protested in opposition. There were about 50 anti-racists who were barracked and taunted by the...

SEND Cuts: The Most Vulnerable Lose Out

By the government’s own reckoning over 2000 pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are not getting access to necessary resources and equipment because of funding cuts. Since 2015 £5.4 billion has been cut from school budgets in England. The most vulnerable have been hit hardest....

Workload - More Than a Toolkit is Required

According to the 2018 NEU survey, 81% of teachers said they have considered leaving teaching in the last year because of the pressures of workload. That’s pretty much most teachers!

In the NEU survey, one teacher commented: “I don't know how I can change how I work, I don't know how long I can...

A Union for All School Workers

Support motion 14 and amendment 14.1.

Support motion 38 and reject amendments 38.1 and 38.2.

Teachers are not the only workers in schools, and the National Education Union is not just a union for teachers. The merger of the NUT and ATL that resulted in the NEU represents an unprecedented opportunity...

Conference and beyond - For a Campaigning and Militant Union

The first National Education Union (NEU) conference will take place in Liverpool on 14th – 18th April. The conference will decide the direction and policy of the new union that organise 450,000 workers in schools. It is the fourth largest trade union in the UK. Workers Liberty members are very...

National Education Union Conference Motion Amendments

We've done some great work so far in the run up to conference. Motions written and submitted by Workers' Liberty activists and supporters on representing support staff, boycotting tests and fighting the anti-union laws are top of their sections on the agenda and will be debated.

There's still time...

Report: Education Solidarity Network Meets

The latest ESN meeting took place on February 9th in Leeds. There were just over 20 people present from Leeds, Lewisham, Leicester, Hull, East Riding, Wakefield, Coventry, Bristol, Warwickshire, Nottingham and East London.

The Network met shortly after the results of an indicative ballot on the pay...

No Child Should go Hungry in Our Schools!

Lewisham NEU (National Education Union) have voted to send a motion entitled “No child should go hungry in our schools” (motion 109) to our union's national conference this year. We are calling for action to rectify the shameful situation in which some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in...

If You're in the Building, You're in the Union

By a London Teacher

A potentially very positive consequence of the ATL/NUT merger to for the National Education Union (NEU) is that it removed the barrier that the National Union of Teachers imposed on itself not to recruit non-teaching staff in schools. By doing so the possibility has been created...

New Union, New Executive

It’s hard to work out with any reliability the political balance in the first ever National Executive of the National Education Union (NEU). As the fourth biggest union in the UK and the first to organise all school and college workers the direction of the NEU will be hugely important for the trade...

Vote for Education Solidarity Network candidates

The National Education Union (NEU) is the largest union for school workers. It has been formed from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), currently it carries forth the existing leaderships of both unions.

The ATL’s leadership is conservative,...

Teachers' pay fight: why only in Scotland?

Scottish teachers marched in Glasgow on 27 October demanding an austerity-busting 10% pay rise. 30,000 attended the march organised by The Educational Institute of Scotland, excellent numbers considering there are around 50,000 teachers in Scotland.

The campaign Scottish teachers are waging is...

NEU Conference Motions - 2019

Workers' Liberty schoolworkers have written a raft of motions for NEU conference, covering a range of issues from testing and teachers' pay through to union democracy and the representation of support staff, fighting the anti-union laws, defending free movement and more!

See if you can get one or...

NEU Executive makes a difficult pay campaign even harder

In what has become a pattern, the government announced their decision on the 2018-19 teachers’ pay award at the end of July when most schools had closed for the summer break.

Teachers do not have negotiating rights over national pay and, instead, annual awards are decided by the Secretary of State...

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