We are still recommending that people do not apply for the threshold.
The absolute priority has to be winning the strike ballot. It would
certainly be a mistake
to raise a threshold boycott ahead of the strike action and to risk splitting
union groups or dissuading people from voting for action by in any way
denigrating members who are applying.
However, it is inevitable that in discussions around the reasons for
strike action that the question of whether or not to apply for the threshold is
going to be raised.
In arguing for a strike we are going to raise about how the threshold
to mean £2,000 for some, not all. We are going to warn about the strings
attached to the £2,000 and the extra commitment that may be demanded of people.
We are going to warn about how our teaching could end up being determined
by the answers the Government wants to see in the application forms.
Many teachers will draw the conclusion that we should not apply -
and we should
Since Conference I have conducted five school meetings in Lewisham so
priority in all of them has been to build support for the strike. However, in
the discussions, three of the five school groups - at their instigation, not
mine, have also agreed that they do not feel teachers should apply.
The last of these meetings was the staff association of a VA secondary
yet NAS,ATL and NUT members overwhelmingly agreed not to apply.
This may not be the view in a majority of schools but it represents
significant minority. Yes, let's concentrate on winning the ballot but neither
should we let down the members who are making this stand against the threshold.