GMB members vote unanimously for strike action at Moulsecoomb Primary School
“We will not stand by and allow the school to be taken from the local community and local education authority, putting the future of children’s education and staff’s terms and conditions at risk” says GMB Southern
GMB members at Moulsecoomb Primary School have voted 100% in favour of strike action with a 100% turnout. This comes after all three unions representing staff at the school balloted members on strike action over government plans to turn the school into an academy.
This result follows an overwhelming result against the forced academisation from the parent ballot undertaken by Brighton & Hove City Council and also the staff ballot run by NEU which was also 100% in favour of strike action.
New Horizons Academy Trust (NHAT), the Trust currently proposed to take over Moulsecoomb Primary School against the wishes of staff and parents, previously operated two schools but are now left with just one after the other was left struggling and was "re-brokered" into another Trust.
All three unions representing staff at the school along with parent groups, Councillors and MPs have been calling for a re-inspection of the school as they believe that Moulsecoomb is not a failing school and therefore doesn’t have to be forced into academisation.
Jo Viner, GMB Senior School Representative said: "GMB will not allow the door to open for the privatisation of our education system. We will be discussing the upcoming timetable for strike action with staff & other trade unions.
"GMB will continue to organise, represent and campaign for the interests of school staff and students if their school is forced in to the hands of an academy trust, currently proposed to be New Horizons Academy Trust.
"Academies are independently run, state-funded schools receiving their funding directly from the Department for Education, severing the link between local authorities and schools. Academisation removes schools from local accountability and democracy thereby removing the freedom of choice for local communities."
Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary said: "While assurances are often given about the future of staff’s terms and conditions of employment after academisation, just for starters, academies do not follow national pay scales for teachers or support staff and have the option to opt out of the national curriculum so any assurances aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
"Staff who move to academies can lose their built-up entitlement to maternity pay. Staff who later return to Local Authority employment will have lost many rights and new staff joining an academy will not get the same terms and conditions as those who transferred when the school converted. There are no legal barriers to stop terms and conditions changing following academy conversion.
"We all recognise that strike action is always the last resort but we will not stand by and allow the school to be taken from the local community and local education authority putting the future of children’s education and staff’s terms and conditions at risk."
Contact: Mark Turner 07860 787973 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762