Video report from the strike at Forest Hill School in South London, where 15 teachers are threatened with redundancy from cuts to the wage bill of £1.3 million. This has already meant support staff, teaching assistants and admin workers losing their jobs – and with over £4 billion cuts to education planned, this could be coming to a school near you very soon.
Is this the beginnings of a rank and file movement that can take on the Tories? Activists and workers in struggle from all over the country respond to the call from the Durham teaching assistants to march with them as they continue to fight against 23% pay cuts imposed on them by a Labour Council – and then pack out the Durham miners hall to hear inspiring speeches from the TAs, calling for a united fight against education cuts and to kick out the rotten Labour councillors who voted for this shambles once and for all.
Teaching assistants in Derby have taken the very brave step of going on all out strike to try and get the Labour council to talk to them and come up with a sensible offer to end this dispute. Last Wednesday, leader of the council Ranjit Banwait walked out of a full council meeting rather than face angry parents and TAs – and the following day walked out early from an ACAS meeting with UNISON, to do prearranged media interviews condemning the negotiations! TAs are calling on teachers and heads to help them close the schools to sort out the mess Derby City Council have made as quickly as possible.
The Durham Lions were out in force again during half term, impatient at the lack of movement in negotiations over plans to cut their pay by 23%. Now they have called a solidarity march and rally for Saturday March 25 and are asking for your support – not only to step up their own fight, but to link up workers from all over the country who are facing attacks. They send their solidarity to you and ask you to stand in solidarity with them – together, we can all make a difference.
The Durham lions become the Durham lumiere to say Happy Xmas! The fight goes on though – although they forced the council into a massive climbdown with offers of talks and the suspension of the sacking and reengagement on new contracts, the council are still not offering anything concrete. If the negotiations don’t guarantee the preservation of current pay and conditions, the lions will roar again – at a moment’s notice.
Anger is escalating over management’s decision to make David Hardman and Mark Campbell, the UCU branch secretary and branch chair, compulsorily redundant – the only two redundancies to be made, and with plans afoot to cut a staggering 395 jobs in September. With a vice-chancellor one of the few in favour of the Government’s white paper on higher education, and a governing board chair who was UK managing director of notorious education privateers Pearsons, it’s clear that London Met is being softened up for privatisation. National demonstration to reinstate Mark and David: Sat July 23, 11:30am, London Met Holloway Road site to Highbury Fields.