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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 September 2021

National Education Union deputy general secretary election

A fighting strategy to win on workload, pay and cuts

Martin Powell-Davis - Socialist Party member and candidate for NEU deputy general secretary demanding school safety on BBC news, 1 March

Martin Powell-Davis - Socialist Party member and candidate for NEU deputy general secretary demanding school safety on BBC news, 1 March   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in the NEU

This government left it to the very end of last term to confirm that its 'reward' to teachers for all their relentless hours of work during the pandemic would be to cut their pay!

The Tories want school and college staff, and the communities they support, to foot the bill for their pandemic expenditure through cuts to pay, conditions and education funding. Trade unions must use their collective strength to defeat these attacks.

The successful use of 'Section 44' legislation in January 2021, holding back the unsafe reopening of schools, showed how acting together can force this government back. The National Education Union (NEU) should now be launching an urgent plan of action to build for the union-wide strike action that can defeat these attacks on pay, and win on workload too.

In response to the 'pay freeze', Socialist Party member and candidate for NEU deputy general secretary, Martin Powell-Davies, immediately issued a call for the NEU to launch a union-wide campaign to defend members' pay, bringing together other unions to build joint action, starting with setting a date for a trade-union led national demo against austerity.

Martin has set out a clear strategy to win:

In contrast, when the NEU's national executive met at the start of September, no plan for action was tabled by the leadership.

Weakness only invites aggression. The Tories have now attacked incomes further with the National Insurance increase. This will also add further pressure to already overstretched school and college budgets, threatening more cuts to jobs and resources.

That's why the five Socialist Party members on the NEU national executive, alongside others supporting Martin Powell-Davies' deputy general secretary stand, will be putting forward his fighting strategy at the next national executive.

They have submitted a motion making clear "that it will only be through a massive national campaign and industrial action that the government's attack on our pay can be defeated". It sets out the steps that need to be taken to prepare for a successful ballot, then to take determined action to win our claim next year. The 'NEU Left' majority on the executive will have to decide whether it supports this call, or, once again, finds reasons to delay action.

Teachers in England are one of the only groups of public sector workers to be offered no pay rise at all for 2021-22. They rightly expect their unions to be organising urgently to defeat this attack. This October's election for NEU deputy general secretary gives NEU members an opportunity to elect a union leader who is ready to give the determined lead needed to defend members.

As deputy general secretary, Martin would provide a clear lead from the top, giving members the confidence to act together in their workplace. His election as deputy general secretary would be a clear signal that teachers and support staff want their unions to put words into action and take a decisive stand.

The postal ballot opens on 4 October. Vote for Martin and for a fighting strategy to win! See for more

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In The Socialist 29 September 2021:

What we think

Starmer consolidates post-Corbyn Blairite transformation of Labour


German election: A change of capitalist government, but disaster for Die Linke

People's budgets

Save our services


End profit-fuelled crisis

NHS workers reject 3% pay insult

Driver shortages - a view from the inside

News in brief

Black history month

Black history month and its relevance today

Climate change

CWI livestream rally report

Workplace news

NEU deputy general secretary election

Corby and Burton Latimer Weetabix engineers strike

Fightback to save Birmingham GKN jobs!

Flexibility to suit workers not the bosses

College workers walk out in pay dispute


London tenants v greedy contractors

Bromsgrove protest for NHS fair pay

Sabina Nessa vigil: End violence against women

Youth and Students

Join the fight for our future

Sunak's student special

More market chaos: York students given digs in Hull

Lots of sign-ups for Socialist Students at freshers

Youth climate protests are back


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Related links:

National Education Union:

triangleNewham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

triangleOaks Park school strike ends following forced concessions

triangleEducation unions lead campaign against Leicester academisation

triangleStrategy needed to bring members together to take national action

triangleNational Education Union deputy general secretary election


triangleTrade unionists in the USA fighting back

triangleWakefield TUSC - Fighting for low-paid workers and NHS

triangleWorksop Wincanton logistics workers begin ninth week of strike action

triangleRoyal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload


triangleEducation: Workload and inflation goes up, incomes fall

triangleNUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

triangleCovid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages


triangleFormer MP colleague of Jeremy Corbyn to stand in Birmingham Erdington by-election

triangleIt's my party, and I'll lie if I want to


triangleBarts NHS workers strike back


triangleHundreds protest to save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton


triangleOaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools


triangleTrade unions and the fight against council cuts

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triangleSocialist Party in Education: Public zoom meeting

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