Tag Archives: NUT

Green Trade Unionists support NUT and UCU education strikes

imageThe Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU) unequivocally support today’s education strikes called by NUT and UCU.

91% of teachers balloted support the NUT strike, demonstrating the level of concern amongst teachers in regards to the Government’s education plans.

In schools, the Government”s “Education for All” Bill will mean real term cuts in funding, with major effects on schools and teachers. This will further erode terms and conditions, increase workload and impede pay progression for teachers.

Furthermore, the government’s academisation plans are the wrong priority at a time where there is a teacher shortage and a lack of pupil places. Whilst the cost of the process of academisation is estimated at £1.3bn, there is no evidence that turning schools into academies will make them better – an appalling waste of money at a time where the education budget is being reduced.

Meanwhile, UCU members in Higher Education are on strike for a second time over low pay, gender inequality and casualisation of employment contracts. GPTU previously supported UCU’s dispute and pledged to continue to do so.

Whilst other major parties are leaderless, the Green Party has expressed its full support for teachers and Higher Education workers on strike today.

GPTU congratulates NUT on its call for a “carbon zero economy”

NUT conf
NUT annual conference in Brighton

The National Union of Teachers, the UK’s largest teachers’ union has called for a rapid transition to a “carbon zero economy,” climate change education in schools, and an end to fracking, amongst other measures in a motion passed at its 2016 Conference.

The motion, moved by the Hammersmith and Fulham NUT branch and seconded by the North Somerset branch, says climate change must be kept to 1.5 degrees celsius or below, “if there is to be a future for our children.”

As well as calling for Government action on climate change and on education, the motion also calls for the NUT to work with other climate change campaigns, call other Trade Unions to action, and work with the TUC and international Trade Union bodies.

The Green Party Trade Union Group (GPTU) congratulated the NUT on its position. Clare Keogh, GPTU Co-Chair, said, “I am delighted to see the NUT show such strong leadership on the issue of climate change. We encourage other Trade Unions in the UK to heed the NUT’s call to action and join the campaigns against climate change and fracking.

We can’t transition to a green society and secure the climate for future generations without the labour movement playing a central role. Trade Unions can empower workers to take positive action in their workplaces and ensure their employers meet climate change standards.

Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary, said, “Children and young people will have the stewardship of the planet in years to come. It is therefore valuable for schools to be able to provide information and understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change. Without knowledge, young people will be less well equipped to deal with the consequences and help find the solutions.

Schools should be able to provide space for discussion of this important topic. However, too few schools feel able to teach about the biggest issue facing the planet. When young people are shown the practical actions they can take to tackle the destruction of the world’s resources, their sense of optimism about their future increases. That must be a massive plus for our society and one of the reasons why we need good teaching resources on this subject in all schools.