You will know, members have voted decisively to reject the proposed pension arrangements and to take further industrial action. The NEC is meeting on Monday, 19 March to decide what to do next. If Independent Left had members on that committee we would vote that the union should take strike action on the 28th. We would vote this way for two main reasons.
Firstly members have democratically voted to continue the fight; that cannot be ignored. Secondly we are meant to be in a pay, jobs and pension fight. IL has criticised the NEC for only emphasising the pension aspect of the fight to the determent of the jobs and pay dimensions. Our worry is that if we call off the pension fight, so demoralising members who want to fight, then that ends the fight on pay and jobs; just when the Chancellor will announce plans for local and regional pay.
Therefore we propose that the strike action be taken but in material to members from now on we equally emphasis the jobs and pay angles as much the pension one.
To the objection that the NUT is not taking national action on the 28th we say now, what we said in the past, each union has to fight for its own members – even when other unions will not. Unity with other unions is very important but not if that means unity of indecision and capitulation.
Of course just one more day of strike action will not stop the government. Along with as much national action as we think members can bear, we want selective action as well, coupled with political and other actions.
Any serious fight will take a long time and so we need money. We have long advocated that a membership levy is needed. Certainly the resources of the union have to be channeled to the fight.
Our position is clear; the fight goes on; we hope that our leadership has the same determination.