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NUT national executive agrees date for national strike action
Martin Powell-Davies, Member of the NUT national executive
The NUT national executive has agreed the next steps in our campaign on pay, pensions and conditions.
I'm pleased to report that, among other suggestions, a number of the proposals that I and others around the Local Associations National Action Committee (Lanac) have been making over the last weeks and months were taken on board - such as exploring support for a national demonstration for education and, above all, agreement on a date for national strike action to take place before Easter, whether or not other unions agree to coordinate with us.
Regrettably, as these decisions weren't decided on at the previous special meeting of the NEC, a strike can't now be built for in time for the original announced deadline of 13 February - which would also have allowed more time for further strike action to be put in place before Easter.
The executive agreed that a formal announcement of the strike date will be made by 7 February, so let's start building for the action that will follow.
NUT members will be relieved that their union is taking national action to defend teachers and education.
However, they will also be thinking about what has to come next if we are to defeat Gove's attacks. Those discussions about the ongoing strategy to win this dispute are essential - and will be central to debates at NUT annual conference this Easter.
Lanac's Campaign Conference on 1 February debated that strategy, based on our policy of arguing for a calendar of ongoing national action, including consideration of escalation to a two-day strike and collections for hardship funds to allow maximum participation in strike action.
It also overwhelmingly agreed to back my stand in this summer's election for NUT general secretary. With that backing - and indications of support from other NUT Associations not able to attend the meeting, my branch, Lewisham NUT has now formally written to NUT Associations seeking my nomination to stand in the election.
Two nominations - in Tower Hamlets and Greenwich - have already been confirmed.
If we are to stop Gove, we have to organise:
- An ongoing calendar of national action - not just isolated strike days
- Collections for hardship funds so all can strike
- Escalation from one to two-day action - warning Gove that more could follow
- A national work-to-rule to resist any attempt to worsen conditions
- A public campaign to defend education with leaflets, meetings, a national demonstration
- YES we need to fight for professional unity but we can't afford to wait if others won't act
- Meet with NASUWT colleagues and urge they demand a return to joint action alongside the NUT
- Let's coordinate strikes with other trade unions too
See Martin's blog: electmartin1.blogspot.com
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