Thursday, April 24, 2008
1 million school students and 8,000 schools are affected by the teachers strike, apparently, which is much higher than was anticipated. According to The Guardian, this is the biggest strike over pay since Labour was elected. Predictably, New Labour are bashing the strikers and pretending that there is no problem. The schools minister has been briefed on his key statistics and sent out to face the newspapers and television studios. Teachers are apparently fat cats whose pay is being curbed in order to rollback their inflation busting pay rises. Of course, the truth is that since 2005 teachers salaries have been effectively cut each year, as pay rises have fallen well below the rate of inflation. Teachers on UPS3 have lost £2,000 due to these cuts. In the same period, the average pay for chief executives has risen by 37%. Such are the priorities of New Labour's Britain. The schools minister is quoted as saying: "The three-year pay award was a recommendation of an independent pay review body... we can’t re-open that process." Oh yes, you can - and you will. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats are demanding that a no-stike agreement be imposed on teachers. You might remember that when someone tries to tell you that the Lib Dems are a slightly more left-wing alternative to New Labour. From the picket lines and protest marches, you can probably get all the updates with photos at Socialist Worker, so keep checking in throughout the day.
Update: I was right. Reports and photographs from across the country are being filed regularly on the Socialist Worker website.