This week will see NEU members at Springfield Primary School, Birmingham take their 14th, 15th and 16th days of strike action in opposition to the proposed staffing restructure. The strike remains totally solid and the strikers are more determined than ever to make sure that the potentially damaging staffing proposals are withdrawn. More workers at the school have joined the strike of late and morale on the picket lines is extremely high.
The support for the strikers from parents and the local community has been truly impressive. They have stood with the strikers on the picket line on every day of strike action in great numbers singing, ‘hay, ho, the restructure has got to go!’ and parents have made a banner stating ‘ we support the strikers’.
A real concern is how Birmingham City Council has allowed Robin Grover, the interim headteacher at the school, to propose and attempt to drive through these staffing changes when his employment at the school finishes at the end of this term. Surely Birmingham City Council should have got to grips with this situation many weeks ago? Instead, it has allowed the actions of the interim headteacher, and for that matter the IEB, to create disruption and discontent at Springfield Primary School. If that wasn’t bad enough, parents have reported that they have been lied to by Julie Young, Chair of the IEB and a senior officer at Birmingham City Council. It is no wonder that the strikers and parents have lost all confidence in the interim headteacher and the IEB.
It is worth noting that Councillor Nicky Brennan and Councillor Mohammed Fazal (both Labour) have both visited the picket lines on a number of occasions and support the strikers. NEU/NUT national President Kiri Tunks also visited the picket line and gave a rousing speech in support of the strike.