Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2010

NUT conference: fight cuts and excessive workload


The annual conference of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) usually hits the headlines over the Easter weekend. NUT delegates must seize the opportunity to send out a clear message that teachers and trade unionists are ready to fight to defend jobs, conditions, and public services.

Martin Powell-Davies, secretary Lewisham NUT

In the 'phoney war' leading up to the general election, neither Brown nor Cameron will spell out exactly what cuts are planned. But we all know what is coming, whoever wins. All the main political parties agree that the huge state debts built up by bailing out the private finance sector's toxic loans need to be repaid - not by the bankers, but by us.

They also plan to press ahead with the break-up of democratically-controlled comprehensive schooling by turning even more schools into trusts and academies. The Tories want to take this 'education market' one step further and follow the example of Sweden where big education businesses make profits out of controlling chains of schools.

Of course, we are being told that there is no option but to cut and privatise. But why should we pay for the crisis caused by the greed of the 'banksters'?

Once the actual effects of the cuts become clear - wrecking education and other public services - opposition will grow across the country. The vital factor in building a successful national opposition movement will be trade union leadership.

Austerity plans have already led to mass strikes in countries like Greece, France, Portugal and Ireland. British trade unions face the same kind of attacks - we need to prepare the same kind of action.

That's why Lewisham NUT will be proposing to conference that our union calls on other unions to join in a united campaign to defend jobs, pay, pensions and services. Together, we should build a mass national demonstration to warn the incoming government of our determination to act.

Above all, NUT conference must make clear to the would-be government politicians that they can expect trade unions to respond to the announcement of 'savage' spending cuts with a co-ordinated ballot for a 24 hour public sector national strike.

Conference Fringe Meetings:

No more delays - call the ballot on workload!

Cuts in school budgets will only worsen the already unbearable pressures on classroom teachers. Workload gets worse every year, grinding down teachers and damaging education.

Both 2008 and 2009 NUT conferences voted for a national action ballot on workload. It's time it was carried out!

Conference must instruct the union's executive to sanction a programme of both strike and non-strike action, including clear guidelines that would allow teachers to refuse to carry out excessive demands.

Unions can't just act as giant 'casework' organisations. To really defend members, we have to build united action to demand a national contract that guarantees binding limits on overall working hours, contact time and class sizes for all teachers.

If properly planned and built for, this campaign could help galvanise teachers into action and raise confidence to stand firm on all the other issues we face.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 31 March 2010:

We will not pay!

Help fund Socialist Party campaigns

Stop the cuts, build a socialist alternative

PCS strike action

PCS: Striking against government attacks

PCS budget day strike: Support grows across country

Transport strikes

BA cabin crew strike: 'We shall not be moved'

Fight the decimation of London tube jobs

Network Rail dispute: RMT signalworker speaks to The Socialist

Workplace news in brief

NUT conference

NUT conference: fight cuts and excessive workload

Socialist elected to NUT executive

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Standing against cuts and privatisation

Socialist Party news and analysis

Yorkshire on the campaign trail

Developing a strategy to defeat the far-right

Waltham Forest: on march against redundancies

Cameron shows Tories still anti-gay

Council cuts: Grim Reaper moving to Surrey

Lewisham councillors' record

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Terror returns to Moscow For workers' unity against terror, repression, racism and capitalism

Eurozone crisis: Hanging together or hanging separately


Future Jobs scam: attacks on young unemployed

Southampton University protest

May Day march in Hull: Rebuilding traditions of struggle

Socialist Party review

When We Were Miners


Home   |   The Socialist 31 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


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

triangleLeicestershire - No more austerity!

triangleNEU conference: organise for the key battles to come

triangleGovernment fails to deliver on funding and teachers' pay - demand action to win 5%

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload


triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe

triangleSchools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

triangleCarlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay

triangleThe Socialist Inbox


triangleReject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation

triangleJohnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!


triangleCovid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

Martin Powell-Davies:

triangleTories knocked back on schools opening

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Ken Douglas


Black Lives Matter

3rd June anti-racist demonstrations across Britain



Equity union general secretary election



Pandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting


Labour Party

Blairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated



Fight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!



Hospital closed following rampant spread of Covid-19



Coordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB



PCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised



Schools... no going back until it's safe



Reject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation



Fight continues for safety on London buses


Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis



Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan



Schools aren't safe

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020