BREAKING: teachers warn of national strike over “reckless” Gove attacks

by - 18th March 2013, 12.16 BST

NUT-teachers-of-the-future_croppedThe UK’s two largest teachers unions have warned they will begin a rolling programme of strikes across England and Wales, with a national one-day stoppage later in the year unless the Education Secretary Michael Gove engages “genuinely” with them in talks over pay and workloads.

NUT and NASUWT say plans for industrial action include national rallies in April and May, a rolling programme of strikes which is due to begin in the North-West of England in late June, followed by an all-out strike “before the end of the Autumn term”.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said:“The time has come for the Secretary of State to listen to the concerns of teachers and school leaders.

“He has recklessly pursued a relentless attack on the profession and teachers’ patience has been exhausted.

“The Secretary of State still has time to avoid widespread disruption in schools by responding positively and quickly to the reasonable demands we are making.”

Members of both teaching unions have held a number of local strikes over workload and the imposition of punitive management systems since a joint agreement between the NASUWT and NUT last summer.

The are also continuing a six-month work-to-rule across the country. Officials warn that action short of a strike will be stepped up if ministers do not respond to the unions’ demands on pay, pensions and workloads.

Teachers in the EIS union north of the border are currently holding a consultative ballot on separate pension proposals, with the prospect of further industrial action hitting schools in Scotland.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said:“We have already rejected the new pension arrangements and the proposed deregulation of teachers’ pay.

“The attacks on pay and pensions in combination with increasing workload is making teaching an unsustainable option for many.

“The resolution to all the aspects of our dispute with the Secretary of State is in his hands. He can respond positively engage with us to seek a way forward.

“If there is no positive response to our reasonable demands, the joint strike action we are announcing today is inevitable.”

You can watch our film report on the joint NASUWT/NUT agreement here: