Free Iranian Teacher Trade Unionist

Free Iranian Teacher Trade Unionist on Hunger Strike

Amnesty International has launched an online appeal calling on the Iranian authorities to release Esmail Abdi. Abdi is a maths teacher and trade unionist who was arrested in 2015 while trying to attend Education International’s World Congress and, after an unfair trial, sentenced to six years in prison. Since 24 April, Abdi has been on hunger strike in protest of the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on trade unionists and his treatment in prison. Support AI’s appeal here.

Reminder: Our Branch Is Now Called NEU Newham

On 1 September 2017 the National Union of Teachers (NUT) amalgamated with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) to form the National Education Union (NEU).

The National Education Union brings together 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe.

As Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, says: “The National Education Union gives us a powerful voice to stand up for students, our members and education to make a real and profound difference from the off.”

Locally, you will also see a change to the appearance of material you receive from Newham Teachers’ Association – The association is now known as National Education Union, NUT Section, Newham.

Logo for National Education Union, NUT Section.National Education Union logo.

End the Pay Cap leaflets distributed

Keith Turner and Miriam Scharf ( Life Members) distributed several hundred End the Pay Cap leaflets to travellers at Stratford tube station on 13/10/2017 to publicise Tuesday’s Pay demo.

The aim was to brief the public on the TUC / NEU “End the Pay Cap” demonstration & rally on 17/10/2017

Thanks to Miriam and Keith for all their work.

Please support the End the Pay Cap event on 17/10/2017.

Assemble 17h30 opposite Downing Street
March, via Department of Health, Treasury & Department of Education, to TUC rally outside Parliament.

Leave school together for Downing St. – or join later outside Parliament.

Slide from NEU Powerpoint presentation with the words "Pile on the pressure to scrap the cap".

Petition To Save Sarah’s Grave

Photo of Sarah Chapman, leading member of Matchwomen’s 1888 Strike Committee and TUC Representative
Sarah Chapman

Petition To Save Sarah’s Grave

Sarah Dearman, née Chapman – Matchwomen’s 1888 Strike Committee and TUC Representative

Born: 31st October 1862 – Died: 27th November 1945 – Buried: 3rd December 1945

Sarah Chapman was a leading member of the 1888 Strike Committee and later went on to represent the Union at the TUC. Sadly, despite the great contribution Sarah made to the beginnings of the modern trade union movement and to working women’s rights, Sarah ended up in a pauper’s grave at Manor Park Cemetery. The grave, nothing more than a grassy footpath with no marking, let alone a headstone, was rediscovered by her Great Granddaughter in January 2017.

Photo of Sarah Chapman's grave, Manor Park.
Sarah Chapman’s grave, Manor Park.

With burial space running out in London, cemeteries are looking at ways to reclaim land and at Manor Park they intend to do this by ‘mounding over’ the area where Sarah is buried so that they can re-use the space. They have offered a plaque elsewhere in the cemetery grounds but Sarah’s descendants feel she deserves to be remembered at the exact location of her grave. The cemetery is resisting this.

With your support we hope to place a permanent memorial to Sarah on the site of her grave. We already have parliamentary support via Lyn Brown MP and Louise Raw (see her Facebook page – Matchwomen Memorial @MatchwomenRemembered).

An online petition is coming shortly, meanwhile please contact

Sam Johnson

For details of how to support the campaign

See also:




Newham Teachers’ Association has supported the Matchwomen’s Festival for several years.