At their annual conference teachers in the NUT union have voted to continue with strike action to win their campaign against the coalition government's attacks on pensions.
Delegates overwhelmingly supported a resolution to "establish a programme of targeted local or regional strikes in the summer term" and to organise "a further one day national strike before the end of June".
The mood to continue the pensions campaign was palpable in the conference hall as the priority motion was debated. It was clear that teachers are in no mood to accept coalition measures that make them and other public sector workers pay for the economic crisis. Recognising that the success of strike action of 30 June & 30 November had galvanised the trade union movement and won concessions, the union vowed to continue working with unions which have not yet signed up to the government's proposals. But it also committed to seek immediate talks with other unions, to build a coalition for further strike action.And with the coalition government proposing further cuts to teachers' living standards with regional pay the union called for action against any measures to introduce local pay and conditions.
Voters in Bradford West demonstrated last week that there is an underlying and deep-seated well-spring of visceral anger and hatred towards the Tory-led coalition. This anger is present amongst teachers too - and if rank and file activists ensure it is built and successfully organised we could begin to roll back these attacks.
As MP Jeremy Corbyn said at a fringe meeting on Austerity and Resistance, "We need to bring the struggles together - support the call by Coalition of Resistance for a demonstration against the cuts in June". It could be a long, hot summer for the Tories - it's up to us to make sure it is.
Tony Dowling is a teacher, socialist, trade unionist, antifascist, anti-war & anti-cuts activist. He is currently chair of North East People's Assembly and a member of Counterfire.
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