Teachers in the NUT union have demanded their union leadership calls strikes at a series of angry union reps’ meetings across Britain.
They want to fight Tory education secretary Michael Gove and his war on teachers’ pay, pensions and conditions.
Around 30 reps met in Manchester last weekend while 70 gathered in Birmingham.
National executive committee member Jerry Glazier addressed reps in Manchester for an hour.
After 45 minutes, reps began to heckle him asking, “When are we going to get to speak?”
Debs, a rep at the meeting, told Socialist Worker that teachers were “frustrated” with the NUT’s lack of action.
“One rep questioned the lack of materials sent to members,” she said. “Another said it felt like we were going backwards.”
Some in the NUT say they have delayed calling strikes because they want to coordinate action with the NASUWT union.
Clare, a rep from Bolton, asked Glazier what would happen if the NASUWT decided not to strike at its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on 15 February.
Glazier neglected to answer.
Reps overwhelmingly passed a motion calling for strikes with or without the NASUWT as soon as possible. Doug, a rep at the Birmingham meeting, told Socialist Worker, “Every speaker from the floor called on the union to mount the campaign to stop the attacks.
“The meeting voted overwhelmingly to call strikes before the Easter holidays with or without the NASUWT.”
Andrew, a newly-qualified teacher, added, “This is too important for us to look back on in the future and say, ‘I wish we’d fought back’.
“Hopefully we’ve sent a message to the NEC—strike soon before it’s too late.”
The NUT NEC meets again on 28 February.
Socialist Worker supporters will argue that the union should begin a campaign of strikes beginning with a one-day walkout on 20 March, budget day.
Teachers in London plan to lobby the meeting and are also building for a mass lobby of Michael Gove on 13 March.