NASUWT The Teachers’ Union
2 October 2013
My congratulations and sincere thanks to you all for your support for the strike action on 1 October. Colleagues all across the country applaud the stand you took and I do hope you have looked at the messages of support from not only across the country but from around the world which can be found on http://www.nasuwt.org.uk.
Taking strike action is never easy, nor should it be, but the 1st was a critical milestone in our Standing up for Standards Campaign. Having been involved in the Campaign and the industrial action since December 2011, I know that you recognize that with this Coalition Government there are no quick wins to be had and that we must be committed to the Campaign for the duration. On the 1st, you were the voice of the nine out of ten teachers across the whole country but, equally importantly, you were the voice of children and young people and the champions of our public education system.
If the Secretary of State fails to respond to the clear message sent on behalf of the whole profession by your colleagues in the North West on 27 June and you on 1 October and come to the table genuinely to negotiate, then, on 17 October, your colleagues in other regions will follow where you led. But as you know, our Campaign did not begin and end on 1 October. It is an on-going war of attrition and critical to this is the following, day in, day out, of the national action short of strike action instructions.
The Secretary of State has now laid plans to remove your key contractual provisions, particularly those which enable you to work effectively. Teachers’ holidays, working hours, planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time, no cover and other entitlements which we fought so hard to secure are under threat. The Secretary of State will look for every opportunity to claim that your contractual provisions can be swept aside without any problem as teachers do not follow them and therefore do not value them. So now, more than ever, walking the line, day in, day out, on those critical conditions of service is absolutely essential. I know that you understand that the stage has been reached of ‘use them or lose them’.
Following the strength of the resolve you demonstrated yesterday, we are very well placed to reaffirm to the Secretary of State the deep concern and anger of the teaching profession.
Thank you for your continuing support. You are making a real difference and we will win.
All best wishes.
Chris Keates (Ms)
The largest teachers’ union in the UK