The Enemies of Promise are working hard here in Ealing too

Today Education Secretary, Michael Gove, excoriates the Marxist “Enemies of Promise” who penned their letter this week warning of “the dangers posed by Michael Gove’s new National Curriculum, which could severely erode educational standards.” Gove’s counterblast in the Mail on Sunday is witty, accurate and savage.

In Ealing of course we have our very own Enemies of Promise. They are all on the public payroll you won’t be surprised to learn. First off there are the paid union representatives.

The secretary of the NUT branch for the Borough of Ealing is called Nick Grant. Grant calls himself a Marxist and is a member of the Socialist Workers Party. He is a member of the NUT national executive council so he is a big wheel in the union. He doesn’t do any actual teaching. He enjoys a full-time salary, paid for by you and me. Scandalously the union got £15K more last year so that he could take his union role fulltime. He uses his time for activities such as co-founding the Anti Academies Alliance, “convening” the Ealing Alliance for Public Services, writing articles for the The Socialist Worker and organising strikes in Ealing’s schools.

Nick Grant’s assistant secretary at the local NUT branch is called Stefan Sims, who came to national fame for campaigning against army recruitment. He was also the front man of the campaign against Featherstone High School in Southall becoming an academy. Simms is another Socialist Workers Party member.

The total bill that Ealing council pays for Grant, Stefan & Co in union facility time, ie time off on union business, is £160K, up 9% over the last two years and on average £76K per person. Grant is full-time and Simms is part-time.

It is not just the teaching union reps who are on the fringe. The Labour administration, especially the Southall wing of it, is doggedly Old Labour and obstructive to Gove’s agenda of demanding excellence for all. When Featherstone High School in Southall looked at taking the academy route the local MP, Virendra Sharma, and his assistant, Julian Bell, along with all of the 15 Southall Labour MPs tried to strong arm the governing body into voting against academy status. Ridiculously Sharma asked to address the governing bodies decision making meeting. Luckily Southall Old Labour lost the argument and Featherstone is now an academy.

The Enemies of Promise are here in Ealing too, arguing that a little bit rubbish is not so bad, that OK is fine, that great isn’t really worth the trouble.

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13 Responses to The Enemies of Promise are working hard here in Ealing too

  1. nick grant says:

    Dear Phil

    Before I refer your libellous remarks to a legal adviser perhaps you could provide some evidence to support your claim that I received a £15k rise to become an NUT officer?

    Cheers

  2. CRAIG PARR says:

    Nick is an great man and even better comrade. He spends most his time sorting out the mess you Tories are putting the education system in. Protecting teachers pay, conditions, work load is more than a full time job. Nick stands up for those in the community he lives, whilst you destroy it. Shame on you.

  3. Ken Muller says:

    You need to get your facts right before you make libelous comments about someone’s remuneration which are liable – or rather designed – to bring someone in to disrepute.

    Better start finding yourself a lawyer.

  4. Phil says:

    Nick,

    I do apologise. You are quite right of course you didn’t personally get a£15K pay rise when you joined the NUT NEC. Your pay stayed the same but the NUT got £15K “in kind” as for some unaccountable reason Ealing council felt that it should give you an extra 0.2 FTE so that you could carry on your national level union duties (nothing to do with providing services to Ealing NUT members). I have edited the text of the blog to better reflect the facts. Please let me know if it is not entirely accurate now.

    I note that you do not consider any of the following in anyway inaccurate:

    The secretary of the NUT branch for the Borough of Ealing is called Nick Grant. Grant calls himself a Marxist and is a member of the Socialist Workers Party. He is a member of the NUT national executive council so he is a big wheel in the union. He doesn’t do any actual teaching. He enjoys a full-time salary, paid for by you and me.

  5. Phil says:

    Craig,

    I am sure that Nick is all you say he is. My only problem is that I contribute towards his salary. If his salary was paid for by NUT or Ealing NUT members then it would be none of my business. As Nick is a fulltime employee of the council whose salary is paid for out of scarce education funds who does no teaching it is very much my business.

    Are you an Ealing resident or teacher or are you just a passing SWPer?

  6. Phil says:

    Ken,

    Are you still in Islington?

    “As a union activist and member of the Socialist Workers party, Ken Muller is at the centre of a campaign in Islington to halt the proposed academy.”

    http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=2095239

    Talk about making my case for me. Are you on facility time too?

  7. Ken Muller says:

    Phil.
    See you got paid a £15,840 “allowance” for being a councillor in the year 2011-12. Expenses too?
    Small beer, I expect, compared with your JP Morgan pay and bonuses.
    The year after JP Morgan were bailed out to the tune of $25 billion by the US tax-payer under the Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Programme, your employer (as mentioned in the Ealing Council register of members’ interests) ‘revealed it had set aside £7.3 billion (£4.6bn) in the third quarter to pay staff, taking the remuneration pot for the first nine months of the year to £21bn, 23% more than the same time last year’.
    Nice little earner, eh? And paid for by the taxpayer.
    You see, Phil, a lot of people hate bankers. Unlike teachers they contribute nothing to society and then pay themselves a fortune out of the money the looted from the rest of us to pay off their debts – debts that ballooned when their greed and incomptetence brought the financial system down round our ears.
    So we make no apologies for spending time, most of it our own, by the way doing our best to keep your fat cat friends’ hands off our schools and to prevent our members’ pay and pensions being cut while you and your J P Morgan pals are getting their 23% pay and bonus hikes.
    And because we would like to see a society where the needs of human beings come before the greed of entirely parasitical financial sharks, where people who live in mansions don’t throw people out of their council flats because their kids have left home and where growing numbers of victims of your party’s austerity policies are forced to rely on food banks, yes, Phil, Nick and I are members of the Socialist Workers Party. Solidarity v greed.

  8. Phil says:

    Ken,

    Councillors get allowances in lieu of expenses so no expenses.

    You have misread my declaration. I do not work for JPM.

    The JPM bailout was a TARP loan which has been repaid as far as I know so they didn’t really keep anything from the US government except the right to pay the US government a lot of tax. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good rant though.

    So, you and Nick are both SWPers. Thanks for the confirmation. You lot always seem a bit cagey about your affiliations. Nice to know.

  9. nick grant says:

    Having dug an emabarrassingly inept hole for yourself at the start Phil I suggest that you stop digging, especially as my political affiliations have been known locally for the 35 years that I have worked in the area.

    However the vast majority of local politicians, headteachers, governors and of course teachers – as well as school workers and trade unionists generally – know of and respect my right to belong to an organisation which is not on any prescribed list, has no terrorist links, is as open as a sieve about its dealings.

    So is courting litigation worth the non-news you are peddling?

  10. nick grant says:

    Talk to some of your party elders locally to confirm my assertion in the previous post, though judging by the scarcity of response to any of your blogs it seems you spend most time howling in the dark night of lonely obscurity.

  11. Phil says:

    Nick,

    I am sure that you do good work, certainly when dealing with individual issues. The organising against academies and free schools I like less and organising strikes when teachers are highly protected compared to most public service workers and most private sector workers I don’t like at all. I don’t think that teachers would be so willing to go on strike if they lost 1/190th of their pay on strike days instead of 1/365th as at present.

    My big problem is that I contribute towards your salary. If your salary was paid for by NUT or Ealing NUT members then it would be none of my business. But, you are a fulltime employee of the council whose salary is paid for out of scarce education funds who does no teaching – so I reckon it is very much my business. Voters in Northfield get to choose whether I am good value next May.

    I note that you don’t contest the £76K average per annum cost of teaching facility time in Ealing nor that the council bizarrely pays 0.2 FTE for you to do NUT NEC duties. This is of no benefit to Ealing residents or even Ealing teachers. It is a direct gift of about £15K to NUT from Ealing council.

  12. nick grant says:

    Keep digging Phil.

    I am sure you are aware you can escape any legal challenge for defamation by clothing your attacks on me as an attack on a public body – Ealing Council.

    Yet I do believe that you are a member of this august body? How odd that you should spew such bile about an organisation you belong to?

    Just in case any of your handful of readers swallow your twaddle there are many Ealing Council employees that pay taxes – ‘cus you seem to imply we have no care about tax paying – and many in the Education Service who are paid not to teach!

    Lastly, why won’t you publish the other messages sent to your site last week?

  13. Phil says:

    Nick,

    I am just trying to clarify what the council is doing. I don’t like it. That is democracy. You have effectively confirmed the details of my story. Please do tell me if there is any inaccuracy.

    As a rule I publish comments from people who identify themselves fully. If your buddies want to comment all they have to do is use their own names like grown ups.

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