VOTE YES to STRIKE
Defeat the weak collapsing Tory government and its attacks on the working people of Britain
Victory to the strike wave
Save public education
Build independent union committees of action to take control of our union
negotiations and strikes
Build an independent worker/community movement fighting for the interest of the
people of Britain. Support only leaders and allies of the new labour movement in the
next elections to start building a REAL British labour party to replace the anti-labour party of Keir Starmer and Tony Blair
The 6.5% sub-inflation pay increase we are being urged to accept by the government and our turncoat union bosses is an attack on education and a scam. The Tory government will only allocate funds for 3% of the pay rise. The government is refusing to say exactly how it will fund this 3% rise. All of our dishonest cynical groveling education union tops are saying that they have “reassurances” that the government’s pay offer will not come out of “frontline” education costs. But this is an obvious lie.
It is no secret that the pay offer that our union sellouts are trying to shove
down our throats is predicated on the fact that the other 3.5% of our pay rise is coming out of the budgets of the individual schools we work at. On 14 July 2023, Minister of Education Gillian Keegan stated that she recognized that the proposed wage settlement “will not mean that no school will face financial challenges and [so] I will also extend the support currently available to individual schools facing the most difficult financial circumstances by up to £40 million.” £40 million is a pittance of what schools will have to pay to cover teachers’ pay increases.
Reject this crime against the people
As part of the crime being perpetrated by the government and our union leaders-turned-enemies, we are also being told that the new money added to the education budget funds will be raised through a series of attacks against immigrants, including higher costs for work visas, higher fees for immigrants using NHS services, and doubling the costs of visas for foreign students.
This a crime in part because the Tories know that these measures will raise little
to no money, and that they will force doctors, and a host of other desperately needed caregivers to leave Britain at a time when there is already a terrible
shortage of frontline healthcare workers. But this is also a crime because the Tories, with the apparent immoral support of our union leaders, are attempting to resolve what is really an economic crisis caused by Tory policies, with typical racist, cruel, anti-immigrant demagoguery as part of the usual divide and rule politics of our most reactionary politicians. It is unconscionable for leaders of unions representing teachers in this country to be party to these racist attacks on the communities that teachers serve and that teachers and their union leaders should consistently defend. In other words, instead of increasing the taxes on the billionaires and giant corporations, the Tories only policy for dealing with the crisis of public-sector pay, is to cut public services, including resources for our schools, and throwing out some more xenophobic, racist, Brexiter anti-immigrant demagogy – with the cooperation of the leaders of our teachers’ unions. The whole 6.5% pay increase scam is nothing more than a union-leadership-sanctioned attack against teachers and students and the communities we have a duty to serve. This fact alone warrants a resounding no vote.
Meanwhile, private sector workers are receiving pay increases that are far
higher. Agreeing to this settlement is a betrayal already signed onto by our cynical, cowering anti-struggle union leaders. We must not follow their lead.
Weak Tories collapsing but union bureaucrats still cringe before them
The current Tory government is pathetically weak by historical standards
and is essentially crumbling. Dozens of Tory MP rats are already fleeing the sinking ship of this hated Tory government, declaring that they will not stand for re-election. Under these circumstances, the teacher-union bureaucrats look absolutely ridiculous, pitifully naive, and downright cowardly, as they gush over the settlement and issue a joint statement with this dying Tory government that includes a treacherous promise of no more strikes.
In contrast, the junior doctors and the Consultants immediately refused the
government’s offer and pledged to continue striking. The General Secretary of
Unite, Sharon Graham, predicted that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s offer would
lead to” a new wave of industrial action.” The Standing Orders Committee of Unite agreed by drafting an emergency motion calling on Unite members to reject Sunak’s “final offer”. The General Secretary of Prospect, Mike Clancy, called Sunak’s offer a “disastrous error” and pointed out that the government was “taking a knife to public services to pay for these pay rises, showing they have learned nothing from the austerity years.”
However, the NEU and ASCL union leaders/managers are forcing educators
to immediately vote on this settlement without even giving us the time to read
the offer or discuss it so that we can make an informed decision. Last week Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the ASCL, stated that his members would be asked to vote in a poll between Monday and Friday starting on Monday, 17 July. The NEU tops announced that the union will set up an electronic ballot of members which will run from 18 to 28 July. Members of the NASUWT just voted for striking in a ballot that closed on 12 July. Their organisation, however, is now recommending that they accept this unconscionable and pitiful pay deal and end their dispute now. It is worth remembering that Minister of Education Keegan just stated that head teachers have a duty to pick up their students and bring them to school to improve enrollment figures.
Our growing strike movement can win
We must organize a no vote on this settlement. Already there are groups of
teachers around the country who are campaigning for a no vote on this settlement offer. This requires us to get out the truth about what Sunak’s offer actually is, and to urge our colleagues to vote no. The NEU, NASUWT, ACSL and NAHT are all balloting on striking now. Our biggest danger is that teachers disgusted and outraged by our sellout leaders’ attempt to stab us in the back will vote no on the strike ballot and accept the current offer or abstain from voting. This fight is all about voter turnout. We need teachers in every branch to step forward and get their colleagues to vote down this wretched offer and vote yes on the strike ballot. We need these new leaders to campaign to get rid of our current pro-Tory government leaders and to replace them with new elected rank-and-file leaders accountable to the members and committed to building school-based branch wide committees of action.
Our strike movement is winning. If we vote down this proposed settlement,
other unions will follow our leadership. Our rejection of the government’s offer
could be the final blow to the teetering, weak, and hated Tory government. But
right now we do not have any party to support in the inevitable quickly approaching Parliamentary elections. Keir Stammer, the leader of the Labour Party has given the Tories’ settlement proposal his tacit support by refusing to even comment on it, because he does not want to “wade” into this vital do-or-die moment for teachers and education.
Our strike movement is progressing quickly. The people who emerge as our
best leaders should stand in the next Parliamentary elections. We are transforming the UK labour movement; it is time for us to transform the political landscape of the nation as well. There is no reason to waste our votes to elect Labour Party candidates when the Labour Party has opposed our strikes from day one. We can create a new independent political party from the powerful and massively popular movement we are building. We are responsible for defeating so many of the Tories’ most racist, divisive, authoritarian, and right-wing policies already. Now we just need to take the next step and
stand candidates who speak for our movement, immigrant, oppressed, poor
and struggling middle class communities and go on the offensive.
The original Labour Party was formed more than a century ago to fight for a socialist program needed to uplift and improve the lives of the vast majority of people, but it gave up the fight long ago. Today’s British Labour Party is on the
wrong side. We can and must fill the void left by this British Labour Party, because as the best of this society we have the power to build a new Britain offering equality, new opportunities, prosperity, hope and unity.
16 July 2023