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NEU Annual Conference 2022 Teachers won't be bullied by fire and rehire practice, Labour's Gardiner tells fringe event

OUTRAGED teachers will not be bullied by the widely condemned use of fire and rehire, Labour’s Barry Gardiner told delegates at an NEU conference fringe event today.

The MP for Brent North praised the union’s campaigns to resist the tactic, which sees workers forced to accept contracts with inferior pay and working conditions.

The NEU recently defeated attempts by bosses at the Girls Day School Trust to use the practice to cut pensions for existing staff at 23 independent schools across England.

Following reports that Tory ministers have dropped an already long-delayed employment Bill from next month’s Queen’s Speech, Mr Gardiner said: “If the government think employment rights is now safely off the agenda, they should have heard the outrage from the teachers [here].”

He told the meeting in Bournemouth, also attended by NEU joint general secretary Mary Bousted, that “people will not be fooled.

“They know what is going on. The government is deliberately creating insecurity across society.

“All of this is not happening by accident. It is being deliberately enacted so people will knuckle under and accept whatever they are given.

“Well, we will not. The message from teachers is that they will not be bullied in this way and will stand together to stop it.”

The Institute of Employment Rights’s James Harrison called for unions to use the “key tools” of industrial organising, strikes and solidarity to beat fire and rehire.

The left-wing think tank is ready to help develop a “new deal for workers that unions can throw their collective weight behind,” its deputy director said. 

He also praised the NEU’s proposed national contract for teachers, backed by delegates today, as the type of agreement which could protect working people. 

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