Today’s divisional secretaries briefing followed yesterday’s statement of joint working between the NASUWT and the NUT. What is now clear is that the talks between the two unions have been positive and have resulted in a commitment from both unions for a joint campaign, that, presuming the forthcoming ballot is won, will include strike action and non strike action over pay and workload. The pensions ballot is still live and therefore it is possible for the union to fight on all three of those issues. Members will have many questions about non-strike action and this will be addressed in subsequent emails.
It was very clear from today’s meeting that the expectation is that there will be a one day national strike in either the last week of the first half of the autumn term, or in the first week back after the half term holidays. The agreement between the two unions is then to follow this strike with ‘rolling action’.
The NUT will now ballot members for strike and non strike action. The ballot will open on Monday the 25th June and run through the summer holidays, closing in early September, but members are being advised to return ballot papers at the first opportunity.
These developments are most welcome. The announcement of the union to embark on a wide campaign with the other big teaching union in this country is incredibly positive (however overdue)There is now a very real possibility of strike action that could close 85% of schools and there is also now a very concrete way that we can start to overcome the historic problem of teachers being divided in their separate unions. We will now have to throw ourselves in to trying to win the biggest turn out and the biggest ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming ballot.
Members now need to know that the joint NUT / NASUWT action is definitely happening and that the union is serious. This means the national union must outline dates as soon as possible. There cannot be any slippage in the time frame that was outlined at today’s meeting if members are to feel confident in the union.
We now have to opportunity to get people to take strike action again and we have to be fighting to get school meetings, local reps meetings, regional meetings etc set up ASAP. In every area we will need a plan for how we can maximise the turn out and ‘Yes’ vote in the ballot.
The union will be supporting and building for the Sheffield and Oxford demonstrations (Cameron and Clegg’s constituencies) on the 14th July, both called jointly by the NUT and NASUWT. We should build these events and send coaches. Teachers in the North are being asked to support Sheffield and teachers in the South, to support Oxford.
The worklaod ballot opens on June 25th – please vote YES for action to be taken with the NASUWT