Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, writes about the need to march for a future that works, and against the Tory cuts.
Christine Blower is the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT)
Thousands of NUT members will be coming from all over the country to join the TUC-organised A Future That Works march in London this Saturday, 20th October. This march will send a clear message to government that their programme of austerity measures is not working.
It is vital our voices are heard. There are alternatives. A Robin Hood Tax, for one, would write off a massive amount of this country’s debt yet the government is doing nothing to reverse its public sector cuts agenda.
This includes the abolition of EMA, cuts to post-16 funding and job losses across the education sector. Millions of public sector workers are facing cuts to their pensions, redundancies, and pay freezes, and we are seeing the systematic dismantling of our National Health Service. The government’s cuts will have long-lasting detrimental implications for our economy and growth.
We are marching for education, for a good local school for every child and for our pensions. Investing in education is essential if we’re to have a healthy, growing economy. We need a highly skilled workforce to compete in the global economy.
That means more and better-paid teachers, but instead teachers are being attacked. Schools and colleges are experiencing major real terms cuts, with the biggest cut in education spending since the 1950s.
The attacks on education have already gone too far yet there are still more cuts to come as the government hits public spending year after year.
The brutal cuts that have been made to the public sector alongside the attacks on education and the health service have gone too far. Our young people are our future – it’s time to end the government’s failed austerity programme and repair the damage it has caused.
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• When will this government of rabid cuts learn? Why tomorrow’s march is so important – Brendan Barber, TUC
• Joining A Future that Works – full details of Saturday’s march – Nigel Stanley, TUC
• A Future That Works – Official #O20 website