On 30th November, teachers in the NASUWT trade union will take strike action in Belfast and Newtownabbey – the first in a series of regional strikes – in response to the insulting decision of the Minister of Education to withhold the money allocated in the block grant for last year’s pay award. Teachers have lost thousands of pounds as a result of year-on-year real pay cuts since 2011.
Labour Alternative stands in solidarity with the teachers taking strike action. We call on parents, students, other education workers and everyone who stands for decent education to show their support for this strike. We also call for the other teaching unions to join future strike action as part of serious campaign for pay restoration.
The story of pay cuts and pay freezes is one with which most workers in both the public and private sectors will identify. Labour Alternative stands for a united struggle to lift wages of all workers. We campaign for a £10 minimum wage. Workers should organise against derisory pay offers that are not keeping up with the cost of living in this increasingly uncertain economic period.
The 0% pay offer for teachers is part of a continuing programme of austerity which is destroying our education system, overseen by Ministers from both Sinn Féin and the DUP. The already overstretched education budget has been cut by a further £50 million this year and the axe is hanging over schools, staff and services.
Teachers are being told that their call for a pay increase is unreasonable. Parents are being told it’s unreasonable to stop cuts in education. Yet MLAs received an 11% pay increase last year! They plan to hand hundreds of millions to big business by cutting corporation tax, paid for through further cuts to public services.
Labour Alternative stands for turning that logic on its head. We advocate socialist policies to invest in our public sector and raise the living standards of workers by taxing the super-rich and taking economic resources into public ownership. If you agree, get involved today.