Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1035/28892

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 March 2019

Valentine school strike against budget cuts and redundancies

The picket line at Valentine School, 14.3.19, photo by Southampton Socialist Party

The picket line at Valentine School, 14.3.19, photo by Southampton Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Southampton Socialist Party

"No ifs, no buts, stop school cuts!" was the sound at Valentine Primary School gates on 14 March, striking at the threat of redundancies due to budget cuts.

100% of National Education Union (NEU) members voted for strike action and 100% turned out on the picket line alongside parents, children and their supporters from Southampton Fair Funding Campaign, Southampton Socialist Party and Southampton Socialist Students.

They followed their picket with a lively protest on the steps of Southampton Civic Centre. Throughout the day this strike was on the local news, highlighting the threat posed. The local newspaper ran an editorial raising the significance of this strike.

The Tories want to bury the truth that funding per child has been cut by 8% under their austerity agenda - and the effects are devastating.

But local authorities also have a role to play. They are ultimately the ones holding the finances delegated to them from central government. This is convenient for the Tories as it means they can point the finger elsewhere. But it also means local councils could play a crucial role in resisting the cuts.

In Southampton, the Labour council has chosen to bury its head in the sand and point the finger back at the Tory government, writing a letter to Damian Hinds, the education minister. There has been no reply.

So despite the crisis in schools that Southampton Fair Funding has raised for over two years - lobbying MPs at Westminster, as well as councillors and MPs in Southampton, building the support of thousands of parents, teachers and schools across the city - the message from the council has been: 'You've got to make the cuts, there's no money.'

Talks break down

Talks between the council and the NEU to resolve this crisis broke down, with the council refusing to support the school, saying if it does this for Valentine, it will have to do so for every school. We agree. It should.

Surely this would build the campaign against school cuts, strengthen the position of the council and build pressure on the government to reverse school funding cuts. It also undermines the argument that the crisis at Valentine is the making of this particular school and not a problem at others.

Not only have they buried their heads in the sand, councillors have also been taking decisions to cap school budgets. The idea is to 'spread the thin jam more evenly'.

In the case of Valentine, this means a cap of 600,000. Valentine is the city's largest primary school and now has a deficit of close to 1 million.

Another 13 schools have deficits totalling over 4 million. 40% of primaries in the city have said they expect to be in deficit this year. This problem is not going away and is getting worse.

Councillor angers NEU

Despite standing on protests and holding the Stop School Cuts banner, councillor Paffey, the chair of education, has attacked the strike saying: "It is regrettable that the NEU representatives are rushing into strike action... I am advised that there are no planned redundancies, so this strike seems unnecessary."

This has hugely angered NEU members, who previously met with councillor Paffey and outlined clearly that the impact of further cuts would mean job losses.

What he could do, if he is serious about fighting Tory education cuts, is allow schools to display NEU banners showing the impact of cuts and back the fight with the cash that the council has, taking from their 100 million useable reserves.

The school deficits amount to just 2% of the council's revenue spending of 192 million: the price of a chocolate bar in every family's weekly shopping.

But the Blairite Labour councillors in Southampton like Paffey and leader Hammond, refuse to fight. They accept their 'responsibility' to carry out Tory cuts.

With the May elections looming and anger at school and council cuts growing, we need Southampton Labour council to join the fight - along with the NEU, Unison and Unite unions - to oppose council cuts, using its reserves and borrowing powers, and mobilising support for the restoration of government funding stolen by the Tories since 2010.

If Blairite Labour councillors and candidates for May's local elections refuse to do this, we will call on anti-cuts candidates to step forward and build the fightback.

Southampton Labour's executive committee is controlled by Jeremy Corbyn supporters. But this position has not been used to clear out the Blairite councillors and adopt a fighting, anti-cuts strategy.

However, three Corbyn supporters have declared they will be council candidates in May and said they will oppose cuts. We will seek to collaborate with them to develop a no-cuts policy on the council.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 27 March 2019:


What we think

Corbyn and labour movement must mobilise to bring down Tories and force election


Socialist Party news and analysis

Haringey 'Corbyn council' finance chief resigns

Oil firms spend $1bn fighting climate laws: 'Green New Deal' needs socialist policies

Universal Credit forces women into 'survival sex': scrap it now!

NHS staff shortage now permanent: reverse health cuts!


International socialist news and analysis

Algeria uprising: 'We stay here until the whole system goes'


Socialist history

Lessons of the heroic 1984-85 Miners' strike

Visteon: when factory occupations stayed the hands of the bosses


Workplace news and analysis

Support the Honda workers: nationalise to save jobs

Valentine school strike against budget cuts and redundancies

Newark machine bearings factory workers return to work

Striking teachers march against Enfield schools academisation plans

Bradford College strike remains solid over pay and funding

West London civil service workers strike against office closure


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Climate strike reports

United working-class struggle needed to fight for trans and women's rights

Leeds residents' anger against private 18-story monster block in 'Little London'

Enthusiastic Southern region socialists plan for the struggles ahead

Worcester library cuts: staff not even consulted


Opinion

Reader's comment: mental health under capitalism

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 March 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Southampton:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party & Socialist Students: Socialism, what we stand for

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party & Socialist Students: State and Revolution

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party & Socialist Students: General Election - How can we beat the Tories and end austerity?

trianglePriced out of Pride

triangleClimate action day - trade union round-up

Strike:

triangleDrivers and passenger assistants employed by Hackney council in the Special Education Needs Service have won a victory - click here for info.

triangleFilm review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

triangleSainsbury's strikers win

School:

triangleLabour votes to abolish academies and private schools

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

Cuts:

triangleEquity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

triangleHuge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

Budget:

triangleCouncil seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils

Council:

triangleAttacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

NEU:

triangleIlford: strike forces school management to back down

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

9/10/19

Health

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

9/10/19

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

9/10/19

Socialist Party

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

9/10/19

Unison

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

9/10/19

RMT

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

9/10/19

Equity

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

9/10/19

Birmingham

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

9/10/19

Royal Mail

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

9/10/19

Usdaw

Sainsbury's strikers win

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999