Three important lessons learnt by successful NEU TPS campaigns:
- Act early
- Act collectively as the NEU
- Level the playing field - use the leverage of the threat of strike action.
Campaign ideas and tips
- Involve all the NEU members and ensure you have their mandate
- Ensure that you have wider union support. Contact the NEU Regional Office. The NEU District Secretary and regional rep on the NEU National Council Independent Sector can also assist.
- Focus on the dismissal and re-engagement (Fire and Re-hire) narrative, if threatened. This will be a real eye-opener for some colleagues and will galvanise support.
- Use positive language e.g. Committed Teachers, dedicated staff etc.
- Think how you are going to get this message across e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Local Newspapers, local MPs, and Councillors etc.
- Make sure all governors know the strength of staff feeling and that they are alternatives. Often the reports that they receive are not the full picture!
- Consider soliciting the support of key interested groups, such as parents and alumni. The majority will have great sympathy with teachers. They will also be concerned by the possibility that the school will no longer be able to attract and retain quality teachers.
- Write an open letter to parents. Ask the Head to send direct - if they refuse (most will) - use social and local media to get your message out yourselves. Sadly, the only narrative they hear is the one from the Governors/Trustees/proprietor.
- In one school the students and parents wore blue to show their support and made hearts to display in their community area.
- You can use the "Hands off our pensions" logo and colours:
- Placards and posters- Key to get your message across
- Use the NEU TPS myth buster to counter the reasoning given for the withdrawal.
Remember NO evidence for an increase to 30% in 2024, pure speculation.
- Using social media is very powerful but be careful how you use it.
Use photos and posters to get your messages across.
Find out who oversees the Regional and Local NEU twitter account. (Best not to use your own personal account) Remember to add @MaryBoustedNEU, @cyclingkev, @NEUindeSector, @NEUnion plus your local supportive MP, councillors, @EndFireRehire, and use the twitter name of your school.
TIP: do not engage with people who leave negative comments - just ignore them. Always acknowledge those that support your position.
- Create a WhatsApp group- this helps you to co-ordinate and share ideas. It also helps support.
Finally, remember you are not alone. You have the full support of the NEU Nationally, Regionally and at District and Branch level. Together we are stronger!