Packed branch meeting hears reports from schools -‘we need 100% all out on 17th followed by a programme of escalating action until we win”

A packed meeting at Wilson Road NUT office heard the first speaker Sara Tomlinson issue the following call for action urging members to organise to win better pay policies in school whilst reminding us that the joint Regional/National action is bigger than teachers pay and conditions but a battle to save education from interference and privatisation ultimately for profit.

The second speaker was Chris Kelly from Southwark Save Our Services and he spoke about the importance of joining up the different fights whilst also putting pressure on union leaders to follow through on the action members want. The branch agreed to send three delegates to the Unite The Reistance Conference on October 19th, since this organisation was seen as a good way of joining up the fights. Chris also spoke about the importance of getting up to Manchester to march against the Tories on Sunday. We agreed to purchase ten tickets for members. So please contact Michael Davern 07983475050 if you would like to come along on Sunday.

We then discussed what was happening in schools and it was clear that along with pernicious pay policies members were under constant scrutiny and attack in many schools. The solution: use the October 17th strike to get members together to discuss and organise collectively. Members were reminded that a both secretaries were keen to come into schools in the next few weeks to ensure a big Southwark turnout on October 17th.

There was also some discussion of how we can link our fight to the fights of others in the community and in the trade unions, with the fire fighters on strike and the postal workers soon and UCU balloting it would seem sensible to all go out on the same day in November if we are serious about winning.

The issue of the EDL marching down Tooley Street in SOUTHWARK was discussed and there was general agreement that we should work with wider forces including UAF to see if we can stop them next time as they did/do in East London.

Members were directed to this week’s edition of Socialist Worker http://www.socialistworker.org.uk newspaper and an excellent article by Southwark based journalist Sadie Robinson (who often sits in front of us in the journalists’ area of Annual Conference).Sadie’s article on our strike complements what was discussed in tonight’s packed meeting and with a media blackout is probably the only paper which is covering this action.

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