Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/711/14233

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 March 2012

National action needed to stop the pensions robbery

Last week's issue of the Socialist carried an explanation of why the PCS civil service union had decided not to call action on 28 March. This was a direct consequence of the teachers' union NUT decision not to call national action on that day but instead to call a strike across London. This was in spite of Martin Powell-Davies, a Socialist Party member, arguing at the NUT national executive for national action on 28 March.

The following is an extract from the Socialist Party leaflet distributed to striking teachers on 28 March, which explains how the pensions battle can go forward.

NUT london strike and demo 28 March 2012, photo  Socialist Party

NUT london strike and demo 28 March 2012, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

After the massive show of trade union strength and unity on 30 November, this government could not have believed its luck when, just a few weeks later, the leaders of unions like ATL and Unison shamefully retreated and accepted the unacceptable terms of the 'Heads of Agreement' pensions offer, which would still mean paying more, working longer and getting less.

Weakness has only invited further attacks. While giving even more handouts to the wealthy top 1%, Osborne announced in the Budget that pension ages will be rising even faster. A teacher in their 30s would not now have to work until 68 to get their full pension - but maybe to 70!

Faced with these attacks, union leaders can't afford to hesitate. Unions need to be fighting just as hard for their members, and for the millions that rely on schools and services, as the Con-Dems are for the millionaires.

While others ran for cover, unions including the NUT, UCU and PCS stood firm and regrouped, preparing their members for further national action on 28 March. But even the NUT leadership hesitated at the last minute and opted for a strike only across the London region.

Next phase

NUT strike 28 March 2012, photo  Socialist Party

NUT strike 28 March 2012, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

28 March must be the start of the next phase of the campaign, not the end. But isolated regional action can't put the government under pressure in the same way that united national strike action can.

NUT members in London, and across the country, have been asking why only London members were asked to strike. The fact is that, under pressure, and left isolated by others holding back from action like the NASUWT, a majority on the NUT executive lost faith that members would take more action. It has been left to the London NUT membership, and the hard work of local officers and school reps, to show that, given a lead, teachers will stand together.

But now how do we build from here? Delegates at the NUT annual conference over Easter have the responsibility to decide on the next stage of the campaign. The NUT executive agreed a flexible formula of "bringing all other regions and Wales, in turn or together, into pensions action". But no dates have yet been set for calling out other regions on strike.

If NUT conference votes to support regional action, then a clear and speedy calendar of rolling strikes needs to be announced so that the government, and trade unionists, know we are serious.

But Socialist Party Teachers believes that it would be better to call out everyone together in a national strike, supported by other unions. United national action is our most effective weapon. National strikes are also far easier to coordinate with other fighting unions, like the PCS, than regional activities.

Socialist Party Teachers believes we should consider a two-day strike to escalate pressure on ministers. 28 March has taught ministers that trade unionists will fight their cuts. It's also taught trade unionists that they need to elect fighting trade union leaderships.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 28 March 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories stand for the 1%... We need a voice for the 99%!

Budget for the 1% must be fought

Toasting the cuts - councils show no remorse

Wales: Does Plaid Cymru leadership vote show left turn?

Budget 2012: reject regional pay

World warming even faster than thought

Them and Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Abortion - defend and extend the right to choose

Rare sighting of Tories in Scotland

Brighton Uni: Socialist Students five votes from victory


Socialist election campaigning

Programme for the May elections - For the millions, not the millionaires

London TUSC: Standing to say "there is an alternative"

Former Liverpool 47 councillor to give socialist challenge for mayor


Socialist Party workplace news

National action needed to stop the pensions robbery

Tanker drivers vote to strike

Save the Remploy factories - not for sale or closure at any price

Workplace In Brief


International socialist news and analysis

French presidential election - An emerging left challenge

Spain: Workers gear up for general strike

Million Hoodies March against racist murders in the US


Socialist Party review

Review: We must look - the photographs of Don McCullin


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 March 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Pensions:

triangleDefend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

triangleLessons of the 2011 pensions strike: when workers showed their power

trianglePCS Broad Left Network conference

triangleArcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

triangleWhat will the spending review mean for me?

NUT:

triangleMartin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

triangleMoney doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

triangleLeicestershire - No more austerity!

Strike:

triangleSt Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

triangleWorkplace round-up

triangleBrush workers into eighth week of strike

Unions:

trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

triangleLGBTQ+ workers' charter

Teachers:

trianglePimlico Academy protest demands elected governors

London:

triangleStop Pimlico gentrification

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

14/7/21

Covid

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety

14/7/21

Benefits

Keep the Universal Credit uplift

14/7/21

NHS

Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

14/7/21

Covid

We cannot trust this government over Covid

14/7/21

Lgbtq

LGBTQ+ workers' charter

14/7/21

NHS

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

14/7/21

Tories

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers

14/7/21

Poverty

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

14/7/21

Wealth

Wealth chasm widens

7/7/21

Environment

COP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

7/7/21

NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

7/7/21

Manchester

Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

5/7/21

NHS

Tories deliver second slap in the face to NHS workers

5/7/21

Labour

Batley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour

1/7/21

Britain

Preparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999