Sally Kincaid

Mapping the struggle

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I have been a socialist and active trade unionist all my adult life. As a local National Union of Teachers (NUT) officer it sometimes feels like we can be bogged down with case work, having to deal with bullying managers and teachers broken by the pressures of the job. However the last few weeks have been the most exciting of my working life.

The TUC demo on 26 March started to mobilise people for what everyone knew would be the battle ahead. Better organised schools had delegations on the demo and returned back to school more confident that they were part of a much bigger movement.

But the real momentum started after NUT conference over Easter, spurred on by the fact that another teaching union, the ATL, had voted unanimously to ballot for strike action. This is a union that has never taken strike action in its 127-year history. The feeling was, if they are prepared to strike then things have really shifted.

Strike school

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It was good to read Alex Kenny's column on the NUT teachers' union ballot and pay campaign (Union-made, Socialist Review, February 2008).

In Wakefield and District Division we wanted to use this as an opportunity to get into schools across the district. The fact that NUT general secretary Steve Sinnott has written to all members saying they should have school union meetings makes this much easier to arrange.

Ruling Class Denial

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Review of 'Ecological Debt', Andrew Simms, Pluto £12.99

The publication of this book is extremely timely, coming as it does as the effects of climate change are having devastating consequences in the Southern states of the US. At the same time scientists are organising to put pressure on their governments to take prompt action to combat the effects of climate change.

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