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Rotherham teachers strike
"Kids not Cuts" was the message on the placards and badges of striking teachers on the picket line outside a Rotherham secondary school last week. The strike is against plans by the headteacher to make a quarter of teaching staff redundant.
Rotherham Socialist Party Members
This is a bid to reduce a £1.3 million debt and an overspend of £400,000 this year, which has nothing to do with the teachers or students. The head claims that such a reduction in staff would not affect children's education yet was forced to send year 10 and 11 students home on the day of the strike.
Ralph Dyson, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) rep at the school explained: "28 members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) at Rawmarsh Community School (RCS) took the first of three days strike action on 5 January.
"Two more strike days are set for 12/13 January. "Initially over 30 redundancies were proposed, including 20 teachers, with staff losing jobs in the middle of the school year, causing massive disruption to children taking exams.
"Following the threat of action by the NUT, management deferred many of the redundancies to the end of the school year but still plan to go forward with the redundancy process and have the same number of job losses.
"A parents and community group has formed that is supporting the action by teachers." In an on-line poll of the Rotherham Advertiser, 85% backed the teachers' action.
NAS UWT , the majority teachers' union at the school, and Unison representing support staff, should join the NUT strike action now rather than waiting for the first redundancy notice to be issued.
The NUT strike threat has already forced the Labour-controlled education authority to fund an extra £300,000 to delay redundancies until after exams. The threat of a total shutdown could force them to write off the deficit altogether and save all the jobs.
- Please send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org and donations to NUT Doncaster office, 7, Chequer Road, Doncaster DN1 2AA .
In The Socialist 14 January 2011:
Youth fight for jobs
International socialist news and analysis
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news