Education unions

Schools: operating partial opening

Published on: Sun, 29/03/2020 - 16:40
Author

A primary school worker

Two or three weeks ago we were discussing with other left-wingers in the union the slogan of closing all schools straight away, and we were against it because of the impact on children of key workers, free-school-meals children, etc.

Since Monday 21 March the schools have been partially shut, but kept open for those categories of children.

In my school I've raised the issue of pay for supply teachers - and got agreement on full pay for them - and of contracted-out school meals providers - where we haven't won yet.

The school system is now fragmented (with academies, free schools, etc.), so

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 08:42
Author

Ollie Moore and Katy Dollar

UVW at St George's

Outsourced security workers in the United Voices of the World union (UVW) at St. George’s University in Tooting, south London, are continuing their campaign for equality.

UVW members and supporters recently occupied the lobby of the main St. George’s building during a university open day, holding an impromptu rally addressed by St. George’s strikers, UVW reps from victorious anti-outsourcing campaigns at LSE and St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, and an RMT activist.

UVW is also preparing what it describes as a “landmark legal case” to challenging outsourcing in court. The

Tower Hamlets backs down

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 09:13
Author

Patrick Murphy

The National Education Union (NEU) in Tower Hamlets, East London, won an important success on 13 February.

Under pressure from the NEU and the wider labour movement, the local council withdrew a legal challenge aimed at derailing a strike ballot.

On 22 January NEU launched a formal strike ballot in opposition to plans by the council to impose detrimental changes to terms and conditions without consultation with the union. Unison are also planning to ballot. The changes would significantly reduce redundancy payments for teachers and impose new contracts on support staff.

The NEU conducted an

The SWP and high-stakes testing

Published on: Mon, 17/02/2020 - 15:57
Author

Duncan Morrison

For the last four years members of the Socialist Workers’ Party have fought militantly AGAINST the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and then the National Education Union (NEU) balloting its members to boycott SATs and the other high-stakes test in primary schools.

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:13
Author

Hugh Workman, Ollie Moore, Ed Whitby, Daniel Randall and David Pendletone

Sixth form colleges strike

The NEU’s (National Education Union’s) last strike day in sixth form colleges over funding and pay was 20 November last year. The next is 12 February.

In December the union executive and many NEU activists were, I think, hoping that an imminent Labour government would resolve the dispute in our favour.

The reason for the delay being around a month after most colleges came back is to build up momentum again after the election and Xmas break.

The upcoming three days (12 and 27 Feb, 10 March) are within the six month “shelf-life” of the first ballot, but at the same

A national contract for all school workers

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 09:59
Author

Tracy McGuire

By Tracy McGuire

I’ve just been elected to the support-staff place on the Executive of the National Education Union, in a by-election.

My first priority is unionising as many school support staff as possible into the NEU.

Especially with the election, there are going to be cuts to schools and job losses for support staff.

We need campaigns. We need more support-staff reps, and not just as reps for support staff.

At present the NEU has a support staff conference, but it is entitled only to put one motion to the national union conference. [The system was inherited from the ATL, the union that

"Get out of jail free” for bullying bosses?

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 09:07
Author

Patrick Murphy

On 5 December, a slightly revised version of an agreement between the National Education Union (NEU) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) was put to the NEU National Executive for approval.

That agreement had been used in June, as I’ll describe, to sink an NEU dispute at Harbinger primary school in East London.

Kirstie Paton, one of the four Executive members representing Inner London, where the strike took place, moved an objection to reject the agreement and I seconded it. We reminded the Executive of the Harbinger story and emphasised the flat-out contradiction between the

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 08:38
Author

Duncan Morrison, Ollie Moore and Jay Dawkey

Lewisham members of the National Education Union (NEU) in primary schools are to take part in an indicative ballot over boycotting high stakes testing. The ballot will run from 6 January for two weeks.

There will be two questions on the ballot, one about “action short of strike” (i.e. the question about the boycott) and a second asking members if they will strike in the event of victimisation of members who take part.

The ballot information summarises the boycott as follows:

“Leadership and teacher members will refuse to administer the year 2 SATs, the year 6 SATs, the phonics test and the

NEU Executive gives bosses a "get out of jail free" card

Published on: Tue, 10/12/2019 - 10:42
Author

Patrick Murphy

On 5 December, a slightly revised version of an agreement between the National Education Union (NEU) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) was put to the NEU National Executive for approval.

That agreement had been used in June, as I'll describe, to sink an NEU dispute at Harbinger primary school in East London.

Kirstie Paton, one of the four Executive members representing Inner London, where the strike took place, moved an objection to reject the agreement and I seconded it. We reminded the Executive of the Harbinger story and emphasised the flat-out contradiction between the

Tracy wins in NEU

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:41

Workers’ Liberty supporter Tracy McGuire has won the by-election for support staff rep on the National Education Union’s national executive.

In a three-way election, Tracy won 1,200 votes, 53%, with the rest split almost evenly between the two other candidates. However, the turnout was, at 2270, only 7.7%.

Tracy, a teaching assistant in Darlington with a strong profile in the local labour movement, ran a campaign focused on workplace and industrial issues for support staff – but also raising wider questions including Brexit and migrants’ rights.

As we understand it she was also the only one

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