NUT Members Votes For Strike Action
First day of discontinuous strike action over pay and working conditions scheduled for July 5th
- by Teachwire
NUT members in England have voted 91.7% in favour of striking over pay and working conditions on a 24.5%, with the first day of action scheduled for 5th July.
In a public statement, the union’s acting general secretary, Kevin Courtney, said, ‘In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.
“The effects on children’s education are also real and damaging. As a result of school funding cuts, class sizes in primary and secondary schools are increasing, subject choices are being cut, and children are getting less individual attention as teachers and support staff are made redundant or not replaced when they leave. There is worse to come, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicting that the biggest real terms cuts to per pupil funding in a generation are on the way.
“There is already a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in our schools. Without significant change to the pay and working condition of teachers, this will simply deepen. We know that many parents share our concerns.
“The commitment from Government to ensure all schools become academies will result in decisions on pay and working conditions, including maternity/paternity rights and sick pay, being made at school level. There is absolutely no evidence that this sort of deregulation will lead to higher standards. There needs to be a guarantee of good standards for teachers’ terms and conditions across the board, in all schools. School leaders’ attention should be on educating children, not squandering huge amounts of time on negotiating individual staff members’ contracts.
“Nicky Morgan needs to engage properly with teachers to address the real problems that are occurring in our schools. The Education Secretary should negotiate with teacher unions on protections for school teachers from a workload crisis which is now completely out of hand. These problems are of the Government’s own making and it is time they addressed them before the education system in England falls apart at the seams.”
Responding to the result via its recently launched media blog, a DfE spokesperson said, ‘It is disappointing the National Union of Teachers has chosen to take unnecessary and damaging strike action, which less than a quarter of its members voted for. It is even more disappointing when we have offered and committed to formal talks between ministers and the unions to address their concerns about pay. Industrial action causes disruption to children’s education and parents who have to take time out of work to arrange childcare, we urge the NUT not to proceed with this strike and to resolve pay disputes at the negotiating table rather than playing politics with children’s futures.’
Responding in turn to the DfE’s comments, Kevin Courtney further stated that, ‘The Department for Education is being entirely disingenuous when it says that our action is about levels of pay. The NUT is taking strike action in response to the funding crisis in our schools, which is impacting on teachers’ terms and conditions and children’s education. The NUT is also highlighting the complete break-up of our education system into individual academies, which is resulting in a breakdown of teachers’ employment rights…
“Teachers do not take strike action lightly. It is essential that the Government listens. We need investment in education, not harmful cuts.”