Over 200 striking teachers protested in Nottingham city centre on Thursday against the city council’s plans to impose a 5-term year. This is despite a consultation which resulted in the majority of school staff, governors and pupils opposing the changes. And now teachers are being told to accept new contracts or face being sacked!
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is against the proposal because it will mean longer terms and shorter holidays which will be worse for staff and children.
The strike was voted for by nearly 90% of NUT members on a turnout of over 50% and meant that two-thirds of the city schools were closed or partially closed.
The Labour council is arguing that children have nothing to do during the long summer holiday. But, as Jean Thorpe from the city council Unison branch pointed out when she spoke at the rally, if they care about this so much, why are they cutting youth and play services this year?
This is just another in a long line of attacks being made on public sector workers and ordinary people in Nottingham. The Socialist Party supports action to stop these attacks. We do not accept that cuts are necessary and demand that the Labour councillors in Nottingham stand up to the Tories and refuse to pass them on!
Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT, also spoke at the rally giving support nationally for the dispute.
There are two days of strike action planned for next month if the council don’t back down. The other teacher unions ATL and NASUWT are also undertaking ballots for action on this issue. Given the success of the first day of action, teachers in Nottinghamare determined to fight until they win.