A number of newspapers have picked up on Stephen Exley's article in the Times Educational Supplement "Unions prepare for national strike" ( http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6312365 ).
The article states that the members of the NUT executive have agreed to “build towards strike action in the spring term” and have agreed to “approach the NASUWT nationally early in January about the necessity for strike action”. As my report from the December meeting of the Executive explained, there were a range of opinions expressed on the timing and strategy for action. However, the fact that the press coverage at the beginning of term is clearly raising the prospect of a national strike this term is extremely useful publicity in building that action.
The TES also reports that, “in an NUT survey of its members, 84 per cent said they were in favour of striking with the NASUWT while 79 per cent said they would be prepared to take to the picket line alone”.
As these figures show, support for strike action to stop Gove’s performance pay plans wrecking education is strong – with or without the NASUWT.
The report adds my comment: “The earlier we take strike action the better, teachers are not prepared to let Gove destroy everything we work for”
The article exaggerates slightly when it quotes me as saying, “In Lewisham, I’ve spoken to every single school rep”; “every single rep that I’ve spoken to” would have been more accurate! But the conclusion quoted that “they are all strongly in support of strike action” is certainly the case.
I’ve posted the results of the survey of Lewisham NUT reps – and their comments – on the Lewisham NUT website under a new section, “Teachers speak out against Gove” http://local.teachers.org.uk/lewisham/news/Teachersspeakout.cfm.
There’s also a new tab http://local.teachers.org.uk/lewisham/news/PerformancePay.cfm with links to relevant articles and resources - like this leaflet summarising what's wrong with Performance Pay.
Have a look for yourself, but here’s a summary of the Lewisham survey responses so far:
1. Do you support Michael Gove's proposal to extend performance based pay progression, determined by annual appraisal, to all teachers including those on the Main Scale?
STRONGLY OPPOSE 85%
2. Do you support the retention of the current entitlement for teachers to be appointed on at least the same pay scale point when they move between schools?
STRONGLY SUPPORT 90%
3. How willing are you to take strike action alongside other NUT members to protect the existing national pay arrangements?
STRONGLY SUPPORT 75%
NOT SURE 0%
4. Do you agree that the NUT National Executive has to now set a date or dates for national strike action - and ask the NASUWT to join us in action too ?
STRONGLY SUPPORT 80%
NOT SURE 5%