UK’s biggest union and biggest teaching union both keeping members out of school from Monday. Not even a tweet from Starmer, Green or Rayner

Members and unions demand Labour support, but meet silence

The NEU, the UK’s biggest teaching union, and Unison, the UK’s biggest union, have today both said they will tell members to use their legal right not to work in unsafe environments to refuse to attend primary schools from Monday. The Tories have announced that schools in London and the south-east will not open next week, but have left other parts of the country – including other tier-4 areas – to face soaring coronavirus rates and needless deaths, despite now acknowledging that schools are fuelling the pandemic.

The NEU reached the decision at an emergency meeting of its executive, while Unison’s head of education has tweeted confirmation that it will give the same advice to its members:

Meanwhile, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the NASUWT have announced legal action. School unions are in lockstep that schools are absolutely not safe to reopen.

But at the time of writing, neither Labour’s leader or deputy leader, nor its Shadow Education Secretary, have so much as tweeted about the issue, let alone put out a message of support or solidarity. They have tweeted on other topics, so cannot claim they have been away from their social media.

This is not a new phenomenon: Starmer and Green sided with the government against the unions on facemasks – and Starmer declined to say during a radio interview that he would support unions trying to keep their members safe.

Labour and union members have been signing an open letter demanding that the party unequivocally stands with the unions. They have so far also been ignored.

So what exactly is the point of Labour’s current ‘leadership’?

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  1. In answer to your question: to prop up a useless, incompetent tory administration.

  2. In response to your question above: it appears that Labour Party purpose is to prop up a useless incompetent tory administration.

  3. I would rephrase the question:

    Under the current leadership, what is the point of labour?

    1. The fear of socialism, the spectre of social justice and the angel of equality: those are the things that they are afraid of. And well might they be.
      And what does Rebecca have to say?

      1. Not sure why you single out Rebecca Long-Bailey, but this is what she said on the subject, less than twenty-four hours ago :

        Rebecca Long Bailey :

        Education unions need our support today. Everyone wants children in school but with rocketing infection rates it is time for Gavin Williamson to do his duty – follow scientific advice and close all primary and secondary schools for a few weeks to all but key worker and vulnerable children.
        If we don’t reduce the rate of transmission, now, schools could eventually be closed for much longer. It didn’t need to be like this, if Gov had acted on concerns from education staff months ago it wouldn’t have been. But sadly it is, and now they must stop procrastinating and do the right thing.

      2. fear of their backers the likes of Blair et el have to do what they tell them. There is no leading from the front . No inspiration . To inspire away from focus groups you have to sell a vision of what you aspire to.
        Not dull conformity to the status quo.

  4. Spineless, gutless and useless.

    I like the photo montage of stammer pointing at whatsherface. Has he just been asked who’s going under the bus next…Or has he been asked to remember where his arse and his elbow is – just to make sure?

  5. Kinnock started the rot, followed by Bliar and now Haredim Kier. A triumvirate of back stabbers who profess to be socialists.

    The question must now surely arise why are the Unions still pouring money into this useless party when the Leadership and the majority of the PLP will not support them and their membership .
    There are now alternatives and big Union money would turbo charge those fledgling initiatives into something more credible

  7. It would seem reasonable to observe, George, that an issue relating to inconsistency in respect of some fairly fundamental principles and standards exists here.

    A defence of scientific principles and the scientific method, as seen in RLB’s statement on the matter, is certainly to be welcomed from anybody.

    However, following the facts and basing position and action on objective evidence, which forms a key part of the scientific method Long -Bailey is defending here, is indivisible as an approach. It is neither reasonable or feasible to pick and choose when and when not such principles and standards should be followed and adhered to.

    In this regard Long-Bailey has not been consistent. Less than a year ago she was very publicly ditching such principles and standards in favour of a position which rejected an objective evidence based approach in favour of subjective allegations based on opinion and feeling being sufficient for an automatic guilty verdict with no right to a defence.

    Unfortunately, Long-Bailey is not alone in this. As a direct consequence of such inconsistent posturing many volunteer members have been thrown under a bus and, as a result, have experienced their own individual traumas which go largely unreported and unknown.

    It is more than reasonable to question such inconsistencies. It is a responsibility to do so in defence of such principles and standards.

  8. Silence from the cult leaders of new Labour 2.0 now explain to me how this is still a party that respects the unions, the workers, the membership? How it’s not walked away from socialism and now is just Tory-lite. Because I see nothing to indicate these scum care or have any interest in this or virtually any other matter..

    This is what has become of the once great Labour party it’s pitiful and I am glad my parents didn’t get to ever see it sink so low. We NEED a socialist party NOW for the good of the country. If Labour wants nothing to do with socialism then someone else should set one up. Until then we’ll just get what we have now silence and inaction from this cult.

    So good on the unions still being there to help protect both the kids and the workers!

    1. “…explain to me how this is still a party that respects the unions…”

      They respect the unions just enough to get the funding off them!

  9. “So what exactly is the point of Labour’s current ‘leadership’?”

    To capitulate to the interests of corporations and special interest groups in exchange for not being pillioried by the billionaire owned media?

  10. 6000 people joined the NEU yesterday in just one day ! , at last the penny has dropped , UNITY IS STRENGTH

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