Today was the last day of action in a season of work to rules and strikes, and today the South West went on strike along with London, Cumbria, the South East, and the North East. The action was jointly called by the NASUWT and the NUT. Two normally gently competitive unions working together. We need more of that.
Of course, I’m not a teacher. I am however the husband of a teacher who works up to eighty hours a week – mostly on pointless but ‘essential’ paperwork. I was proud to take a day off of work to stand with them all, and if numbers mean anything, Bristol took the win. Expecting a few hundred, and booking a venue appropriately sized, the organisers were gobsmacked to see more than three thousand turn out.
We were unable to get into the conference venue, and instead spread over Queen’s Square, where the speakers came out and talked to us over megaphones. Some of them were very articulate and all of them were so angry; their need to teach well so damaged by Gove’s policies. (yes, I can kind of have an opinion here folks, I get to see it all pretty close up).
And with the threat of power cuts and winter approaching, and the threatened changes to terms and conditions, pensions and pay, I wonder if there’ll be different unions marching before long.