Education round up 12 July 2012

Bournville School on strike next week. Worthing High out this week. Noel Park School, Haringey out.

Bournville School Strike
Bournville School in south Birmingham is set to face two days of strike action next week over plans to convert the school to 'foundation' school status. Workers at the school had successfully defeated plans to force an academy conversion less than a year ago after threats of joint strike action and a community campaign.

The latest action is set for Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th July in "protest at the failure of the school to enter into meaningful consultation regarding proposed conversion to Foundation status and in protest at the change of employer with resultant threat to terms and conditions."

Solidarity with the London John Lewis Cleaners Strike

The North London Solidarity Federation would like to extend our deepest solidarity to the John Lewis cleaners engaged in a struggle to secure the London Living Wage.  By exposing John Lewis' overt failure to live up to its proclaimed co-operative model, the cleaners have shown that company schemes are not the way to secure a decent wage.  Instead, only collective struggle can force bosses to provide us with decent working conditions and respect on the job.

Members of North London SolFed will make every effort to turn out to support the cleaners at their upcoming strike and will encourage all our friends and contacts to do the same.

London Living Wage for All Cleaners!  No Cuts to Hours!  No Speed Up!

Choccy's Education round-up 2 July 2012

A few regional stories wound me up this week. Great Yarmouth academy long days. Waltham Forest strike ballot. Islington academy axes free meals. University pulls unpaid job advertisement.


"The devil will make work for idle hands to do."

The idle hands in question? PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN. Luckily brains-of-britain Gove, has a plan to keep these TERRORS off the streets so they don't grow up to be nasty ASBOs or some thing terrible like that. Keep them in school until 6pm everyday. Every fucking day. 6pm. Every day. Not punishment. Not detention. Just a normal school day proposed at Great Yarmouth's Greenacre Primary School under its academy plans.

Miners in northern Spain block motorways and occupy pitheads against job losses and pit closures.

An indefinite strike started in the mines last week after the government announced a 60% cut in subsidies. This will mean effectively the end of the mining industry. The mining counties have already been hard hit by the crisis. Youth unemployment has tripled in Asturias since the start of the crisis and young people are leaving the county in search of work elsewhere. 
Since the start of the strike the miners have been blocking motorways all over the province of Asturias, using burning tyres and trees. They have blockaded the port in Gijon and blocked the train tracks from Madrid to Gijon. Two mines have been occupied for the past ten days. There have been demonstrations in Olviedo and Mieres in Asturias, and in Madrid.
There will be a general strike in the “comarcas mineras”, the mining counties of Asturias, Castilla Leon and Aragon on the 18th of June.

Downhills School on strike

Downhills School in Tottenham were on strike today (22nd May) against plans to turn it into an academy, despite a 91% vote against it by parents. After a picket line of about 40 people in the morning, teachers, kids, parents and community supporters had a picnic. At lunchtime the support workers, who are balloting for strike action at the moment, came to the park to support the strike.
As Downhills kids ran and tumbled around in the glorious sunshine, I talked to teaching assistants and asked them how long they had been at the school. “You could say forty years, because I went to Downhills myself!” one told me. Others told me how their children attended Downhills and said that the school is not failing the kids.

1911: Liverpool in Revolt public meeting (audio+images)

Last year, around 50 people attended a public meeting hosted by Liverpool Solidarity Federation to discuss and commemorate the 1911 Liverpool general transport strike. The audio recording of the event is now finally available on Youtube accompanied by various images.

  • The first speaker was local historian Frank Carlyle who regularly appears on BBC Radio Merseyside. Frank talked about Liverpool's growth as a port city and the development of its working-class. Watch the video.
  • The second speaker was a SolFed member who had done extensive research into the events of 1911, some of the key figures involved in the strike and the influence of revolutionary trade unionism. Watch the video.

Pensions Strike Report back - March 28th

Wednesday 28th March saw the NUT and UCU out on strike over pensions.  The strike was only for the Greater London area rather than nationally.

Some of us began the day visiting the sparks demo at the Shard, which while it had reduced numbers was still fairly lively. Those of us not striking or having to work that day visited friends to stand in solidarity with them on strike in Hackney, where there was a good militant picket line. A mixture of sun, coffee and lollipops kept everyone going throughout the morning till we could all head off to the café.

Electrians Protest Report 14/03/12 - Taking on the Agencies

This morning electricians and supporters gathered outside the entrance of the Shard site. The Rank and File Committee deciding to try and keep the momentum of previous months and take the fight to the agencies, (targeting big companies like Mace in particular) who rob workers pay packets week in week out. Agency workers on sites are often ununionised, work far longer shifts and have far less access to proper training than those in direct employment.

The 1976-78 Grunwick strike

The Grunwick dispute started in August 1976 in a film processing plant in Willesden. It lasted for nearly two years, the SPG (riot police) were used for the first time in an industrial dispute, and it involved mass pickets, over 500 arrests, strikers run down by cars, hunger strikes outside Congress House, and ended in defeat. At Grunwick nearly all the workers were Asian women. In the 70s large numbers of women from the subcontinent worked in manufacturing and in the years before Grunwick there were big strikes in the midlands involving mainly Asian women, such as the Imperial Typewriters dispute in Leicester in 1974.