On Strike is the video broadcast of Workers Strike Back, hosted by socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Bia Lacombe, members of Socialist Alternative in the US.
In this episode, they talk with Tom Barker, Socialist Alternative member, about the UNISON education workers strike at Ash Field Academy in Leicester. The workers — who are very low paid, mainly women and people of colour — have already secured an 8% local government pay rise, on top of an agreement to bring classroom-based staff pay in line with other equivalent school workers (backdated to April 2022). The school has also offered a one off payment of £1,075. This is the biggest increase won by any school support staff over the last five years, and shows what a fighting approach can force from employers, who initially claimed that anything beyond their opening offer would be impossible. But the workers are determined to keep fighting for a real cost of living pay increase — not only one which corrects an unjust historic underpayment. This is critically important to support staff at Ash Field who, because they have been underpaid for around ten years, have been left significantly more exposed to the cost of living crisis.
The strike is at a crucial stage, and calls for solidarity from individuals and trade union branches can be found by clicking here.