The leadership of the NUT teaching union has narrowly voted against holding a one-day strike in March.
Members of the union's national executive committee (NEC) voted by 22 to 20 against a strike on 13 March today, Thursday.
Socialist Workers Party supporters and other socialists had argued in favour of the strike against the Tories' attacks on teachers. The vote followed NUT reps' meetings that overwhelmingly backed a programme of hard-hitting strikes.
Nick Grant from the NUT NEC had argued for the strike on 13 March. he spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity. 'This will be awful news for thousands of teachers,' he said.
'Teachers have seen their pension contributions rise and now face a deregulated pay structure. Many wanted to see a fight against these attacks.
'There was a clear split on the NEC between those who have confidence in teachers to fight and those who don't.'
Some NEC members talked of waiting to coordinate action with the NASUWT teaching union. Yet workers have already waited for over a year for such action. And the NASUWT has made clear that it doesn't plan to strike this academic year.
'Activists have no choice but to intensify their calls for strikes on NEC members,' said Nick. 'It is still possible to call a strike for budget day on 20 March at the next NEC meeting on 28 February.'
NUT activists who want the union to lead a fight against the Tories should also make sure they are delegated to the union's annual conference at the end of March. 'We have to fight for a more vigorous fight back,' said Nick.
Please sign the online statement that condemns the NEC decision and calls on the next NEC meeting on 28 February to call a strike for 20 March. The statement also calls on delegates to the NUT's national conference to fight to commit the union to a program of strike action to beat Gove.
Please circulate the link far and wide so that we can help show the mood to fight that exists in the union.