NUT conference is this weekend and there is expected to be hot debate over how the pensions campaign has proceeded so far and more importantly, what next? Dates for a further one day national strike in concert with PCS and UCU are apparently being discussed by senior union figures. Unite in Health have now forced the issue by setting a date for a strike of their members on 10th May, inviting other unions to join them, which will focus minds at the NUT meeting.
This is to be welcomed. There is a debate in the teaching sector about striking during exam times. There is also the fear that it’ll be another one day set piece protest strike, with worse support and fewer numbers than the previous pensions strikes. However, doing nothing is a not an option and in order to be able to pose the question, what next?, something needs to be happening in the first place! As we said before, if we are to have the sort of action needed to defeat the government’s plans on pensions- which will take another two years to complete- then someone needs to give the lead. The current PCS leadership has made much of our union’s role in bringing about coordinated action but they failed to put their money where their mouth was following the recent ballot success.
We will continue to argue for the formulation of an intelligent action strategy and use of tactics to win on pensions and to widen the fight to encompass our union’s demands on jobs and pay. While we mustn’t rely on others, if PCS gives a lead, others will want to fight alongside us.