Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1016/28194
From The Socialist newspaper, 31 October 2018
Save Our Schools
Build for national strike action
Hammond described the budget's one-off payment patronisingly as being for the "little extras" schools need, photo David Hawgood/CC (Click to enlarge)
James Kerr, National Education Union executive committee candidate and Lewisham teacher (personal capacity)
An insultingly low figure: that's the reality of Phillip Hammond's budget announcement of £400 million in capital spending for schools.
Now we need to build for national strike action to force him to fill the funding gap. £2.5 billion has been cut from schools since 2015. This was a major factor in the Tories' loss of seats at the 2017 general election. Yet Hammond still described the budget's one-off payment patronisingly as being for the "little extras" schools need.
The tone was deliberately condescending. This government arrogantly believes that it can face down the education unions and wider movement on funding, based on how they have carried through their attacks on education in the last eight years.
We now need to show their cockiness is misplaced. An indicative online ballot of all National Education Union (NEU) members is due to start to consult us on whether we are prepared to take strike action to win the necessary money for schools.
We need to methodically build a resounding 'Yes' vote in that ballot on a massive turnout. Meetings need to take place in every school - in the ICT suite if possible so NEU members can fill out the ballot together. We must be discussing why it's so important to vote Yes.
We also need to give members confidence that the indicative ballot will be translated into a formal ballot for strike action as early in the New Year as possible. This will avoid the mistakes the leadership have made in the past, such as calling isolated one-day protest strikes in the summer term without a serious strategy to win.
If we take these steps, we have the chance to begin to undo the untold damage the Tories have done to education and to play a part in forcing them out of office.
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In The Socialist 31 October 2018:
What we think
Crisis Tory Budget brings no relief from austerity
Save Our Schools
Only a socialist alternative can end austerity
Homelessness, Universal Credit misery, high rents, cramped flats, isolated estates...end the housing crisis!
Philip Green scandal - bring him down like BHS
60% of wildlife wiped out - urgent action needed to save planet
Glasgow's equal pay uprising shows power of working class
CWU conference: Sharpen up our act? Yes. But weaken our democracy? No
Welsh college staff set to strike on pay and workload
UCU: General secretary censured but anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot
Driving London's buses - a laser in the eye and a boot up the bum!
PCS Left Unity election: ballot opens
National Gallery reps endorse Chris Baugh
Precarious workers march against gig economy
Peterloo: "If the people were to rise and smite their enemies, was not this the time?" Samuel Bamford, demonstrator
International socialist news and analysis
Bolsonaro - a threat to workers and all oppressed people
Parliamentary coup in Sri Lanka
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Call to arms by Southampton council unions
Campaign building to save Scarborough and district hospitals
The Socialist sales successes in Leeds
'Lucas Plan' film tells story of workers who set out alternative to job losses
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