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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2021

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Oaks Park picket line 2 November, photo Paul Mattsson

Oaks Park picket line 2 November, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens, East London Socialist Party

Defiant Oaks Park school workers hit the ground running with a picket line of over 30 on 2 November. The first strike day after the half-term break followed fresh insults from bosses.

National Education Union members at the secondary in Redbridge, east London, have been striking against management bullying since summer. But in a letter to parents after half-term, the head claimed this issue was news to her!

She dismissed her staff's "false narrative" as having given "no evidence". She knows full well that the Labour council responsible for Oaks Park received a whole dossier of evidence months ago. Recent negotiations - which she broke off - included attempts to agree an independent inquiry!

Meanwhile, pickets told the Socialist that right before half-term yet another staff member was forced out. It would seem he is just the latest victim of the bullying culture at Oaks Park, joining sacked rep Keiran Mahon and countless others.

Louise Cuffaro, NEU executive and Socialist Party member, joined the picket line again on its 24th day. "I've asked a few of you what should I be saying to the top of the union? And people say 'support' - and you do have support. But actually, real support by the union is national action.

"The victimisation and bullying at this school is replicated everywhere. If we can have some national action, like we had with 'Section 44', then I believe all these things would be driven back. The national union needs to show that we will stand up and fight.

"And I raise pay, and I raise workload - because that's really where the bullying comes from. If we're going to fight back on pay, workload, and the bullying culture that encompasses that, we're going to need national action. The union now needs to move to do a national ballot."

A growing number of parents are getting organised, and due to meet soon. And having been ignored by their Labour council and MP, strikers will take the fight to London's Labour mayor Sadiq Khan.

Join the rally outside City Hall on Monday 15 November at 5.30pm. Strikes are due to continue every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 25 November.

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In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


COP26

Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief


Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


News

Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise


Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute


Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system


International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


 

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Related links:

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triangleCovid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

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triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

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triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Crisis in the Ukraine

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