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’?
The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.