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"To lie down will only lead to devastation"
Teachers strike against redundancies
THE STRIKE against the loss of a third of teaching and support staff at Rawmarsh Community School, Rotherham continued this week. Over 30 redundancies are proposed to reduce the school's 'debt'.
Chris Bingham, Rotherham Socialist Party
The mornings of 12 and 13 January saw nearly 40 pickets outside the school gates, with supportive responses from passing traffic, for the second and third days of strike action. The numbers were bolstered by the presence of teachers who had left other non-striking unions (NASUWT, ATL) to join the NUT and the strike.
The Rawmarsh NASUWT rep is one of the teachers set to lose her job. Yet the NASUWT divisional secretary stood with the head inside the school gates to "make sure his members were not intimidated by NUT strikers"!
The strikes have already led to the deferral of redundancies - though some only until Easter. The next strike action is on 19 January, with the possibility of three more days of strikes the week after.
Please send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org and donations to NUT Doncaster office, 7 Chequer Road, Doncaster DN1 2AA.
Ralph Dyson, NUT rep at Rawmarsh Community School, told The Socialist: "Every [striking] teacher has gone through all the guilt pangs of: 'are we doing the right thing?' But when you sit down and think about it there is no other alternative and it is up to others who have created this mess to search their conscience.
"We have worked at this school for many years and have built up an excellent working relationship with each other, pupils and parents. The school has year on year shown progression through its GCSE results and working rapport with the community. It would be a shame to see this slip through no fault of our own.
"Teachers in the NUT, even those who have been made redundant, are holding extra classes for GCSE students at breaks, after school and in holidays to keep on top of their work...
"Rawmarsh is a community which has gone through steel and mining closures and now sees their education being attacked by bureaucrats who can only see the dollar sign. Is this a cause worth fighting for? I think so. I myself have had first hand experience of pit closures and the effect this has on education and community. From bitter experience I have learnt that to lie down and accept it will only lead to even more devastation."
In The Socialist 19 January 2011:
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news