Southwark NUT General Meeting report Weds 18th September

October 14th – UNISON/GMB support staff will be out on strike for a fair pay rise and a living wage and teachers will NOT be STRIKING as teaching unions including the NUT decided not to join them. There was obviously a good lively discussion with some members such as myself wondering why we were not striking with them and what the plan now was for industrial action.

Betty Joseph (Southwark NUT joint Secretary and Exec member) reported back from the NUT Executive meetings and stated that the main reason for not taking action was that Nicky Morgan now meeting with NUT/NASUWT the strikes have been pulled. Let’s hope those talks prove productive then and let’s hope that as we pause our action that attacks on the teachers’ workload and well-being are also paused, as another member stated at the meeting on Weds night.

If you are feeling some sense of Deja vu, last November strike action was pulled as Gove (what happened to him?) promised meetings (to discuss our dispute) these meeting never took place as Gove refused to meet us – we then struck in March once instead of November and March. 1-0 to Gove! Fool us once ….

From the meeting on Weds I know some members feel that it shouldn’t always be about strike action and in that respect the union is also engaging with parents and communities (street stalls) as well as with MPs, however this does need to be backed up by industrial
action and if not on the 14th October with a million other strikers then when stated another member.

Other arguments put forward were that this was Unison’s strike and that ATL and NASUWT were not striking, so with potentially a million on strike that day YOU will be at WORK – more advice will follow about how we can support our striking TAs etc.

In the meantime if you are annoyed about this as some members were on Weds then do complete the survey which the union is doing (see next post) and demand more action, if you are happy with this decision then complete the survey too. But without industrial action – suggest ways in which our issues will be taken seriously.

Other dates
Weds 8th October – Southwark TUC public meeting how to win fair pay – speakers from striking unions at Rizy cinema, Lambeth college and Care UK
Saturday 18th – TUC demo, embankment – Britain needs a pay rise – half a million there last time. Talks of a south London Feeder march too.

We also heard reports from schools

A) Secondaries extending the school day
Primaries – more paperwork/observations and increased stress and workload

The advice and response was the same:

ASOSA – use it. This workload action from two years ago is still live and can be used – see subsequent post. Get members together and starting saying NO to pointless time fillers that have no use to you in your teaching.

C)Pay grievances
We are anticipating a lot of casework in this area. Again a collective response around the ASOSA as well as individual and collective appeals should do the trick. The NUT has an excellent toolkit – link to follow.

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