Activists at National Union of Teachers (NUT) “pay briefings” have called on the Executive to reverse its decision of 24 January and name dates for strikes against Michael Gove’s pay reforms as soon as possible.
The London briefing on 30 January had an almost-unanimous show of hands for a strike in March. Joe Flynn, from Croydon NUT, told Solidarity: “Speaker after speaker expressed bewilderment at the lack of strike action announced so far and emphasised that one day of action alone would not be enough to win.” The same mood had prevailed at the much bigger London meeting on 19 January.
32 activists attended a meeting in Sheffield, where Deputy General Secretary Kevin Courtney spoke.
Gemma Short, from Rotherham NUT, said: “There was a good range of comments from people there, not just the left either. A rep from Barnsley talked about the problem of having been marched up the hill and down again and the lack of leadership from the union.”
Meetings also took place in Newcastle, Manchester, and Birmingham, with more due in Brighton (9 February) and Norwich (13 February). Supporters of the Local Associations Network have distributed a bulletin making the case for action now.
Joe Flynn reports: “[The night after the 30 January briefing], another NUT email arrived in my inbox, very stridently announcing that strike action was a question of not whether, but when. It also included a reasonably punchy summation in bullet point form of the pay changes and how dreadful they are.
“We need to keep the pressure on at the remaining pay briefings. Judging by what some of the London executive members said at the London Regional Council meeting on 4 February, the Exec is very unlikely to call a strike this term. I am going to ask members in my school to send emails to Exec members lobbying them, and I would encourage others to do the same.”
Several NUT Associations have called a lobby of the Executive meeting on 27 February.
• Local Associations National Action Campaign — nutlan.org.uk