Friday, 4 November 2011

The first members of the Bootle Strike Committee

On Monday, I wrote about the run-up to the strike at the end of this month and where my efforts to initiate a strike committee would take me. Much of that remains to be done, and certainly over the next few weeks I'm hoping that there will be a lot of activity, both within my branch and locally.

However, at this point I am glad to be able to report one quite significant step forward. Namely, that as of tonight the Bootle Strike Committee isn't an idea I'm trying to set into motion - it has now come into being! Don't get me wrong, it is still yet to be fully realised. At present it is composed entirely of the PCS branches from the area and so certainly doesn't represent every workforce that will be striking on November 30. But we at least have a jumping off point.

This afternoon, I met with reps from the other PCS branches in Bootle after work. Over a pint, since this was far from a formal meeting, I explained to them the premise of the Strike Committee and what I hoped it would achieved. They were enthusiastic about the idea and about coordinating activity in the area. That we already have actions planned for the lead up to November 30 certainly helped.

It is also very likely, with the announcement of their ballot result yesterday, that Unison will be eager to get on board. A rep from the National Union of Teachers has also been in touch - on the strength of our initial efforts at coordinating activity around the June 30 strike, rather than efforts we have made this time - and said that she and others are extremely keen to get involved. This is definitely a positive development, and one that suggests that the momentum is now starting to build on this final stretch.

Over the coming month, I'm hoping that I will be able to provide more updates on our activity. I'm certainly confident that this initiative will not only help ensure that the strike has solid support, but also lay the foundations for more proactive organisation in the future.