NUT announces national strike date

Schools in England and Wales will be hit by a teachers’ strike on 26th March, but the NASUWT hasn’t yet decided to support the industrial action.

The dispute centres on the Coalition’s introduction of performance-related pay and a tougher pension package, the BBC reports. Teaching unions last met the government for talks in October and since then postponed industrial action in favour of negotiations.

In the last two national strikes NASUWT members have walked out alongside their NUT colleagues, and if both unions take strike action on the 26th March nearly every school in England and Wales could be affected.

Referring to the discussions with the government last October, the NUT’s Christine Blower said: “Subsequently, the education secretary has put obstacle after obstacle in the way of talks, showing no serious attempt to resolve – or even to discuss – the matters in dispute. We on the other hand have made every effort. We cancelled the strike planned for November and postponed action in February. We have indicated we will meet with Michael Gove anywhere, any time to seek to resolve the disputes in the interest of the education service.”

Chris Keates from the NASUWT called on Michael Gove to resume talks: “The only way to resolve a dispute is for the parties directly involved to sit down to have serious discussions on the issues of concern,” he said. “The secretary of state needs to take the window of opportunity the NASUWT has offered to him to build trust and confidence with the teaching profession and to demonstrate that he is willing to discuss their deep concerns.”

A DfE spokesman commented: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more. They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and those talks will begin shortly. Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is nevertheless taking strike action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”

Are you for or against a national strike? Share your views with the Eteach community!

11 thoughts on “NUT announces national strike date

  1. At the risk of sounding boring – I repeat, the best form of action is ‘work to rule’ …… no need to strike and lose income, simply do what it says in the contract and bring on the litigation should misguided schools managers try to bully staff into submission …..

  2. A national strike will achieve little and the unions have been poor in attempting to protect the profession and its employees for many years.
    I was a member of the NUT for a long time but their increasing passive representation led me to leave. A national strike will just alienate teachers public perception. A more creative resistance is needed whereby the students education is not affected and the maximum publicity can be gained – Anyone up for a series mass demonstrations over a weekend and non-compliance with meaningless directed activities?

    But of course if a majority of the represented workforce agree with strike action I would follow such a democratic decision…just as long as it was democratic!

  3. Work to rule would be much more effective. No breakfast, after school clubs. No admin type activities, no staff meetings and keep a tight track on working hours. This is the sort of stuff that exercises teachers anyway.

  4. I see little benefit to the strike if the public do not understand the problem. However, is it ever possible for the public to understand without coming into the industry themselves.
    Perhaps, work to rule would highlight the problems to the public. Parents will soon notice the subsequent drop in standards, results and overall enjoyment for pupils.

  5. Goodness me… nearly four MONTHS of fully-paid holidays a year, most afternoons off, and lots of free periods during the day.

    How terribly over-worked all us teachers are!

    Definitely time to strike.

    My dear wife works in the private sector. 21 days’ leave a year, gets the train into London every day at 06H30 and gets home every night at about 8pm. She has no guaranteed pension, so contributes to her own fund. Job is not secure (even though she’s a MD) and she has to negotiate a new contract every year.

    Most nights she works until 10:30 – then grabs a few hours of sleep and wakes again at 5:30 am.

    Now… I know that teachers think they work hard, and get little reward. That’s BS I’m afraid… try working in the REAL world…

    Just do the job – and if you don’t like it – leave.

  6. Grahame I would LOVE to know where YOU teach , to be on such a cushy number! However, I think my experience is a much truer representation of teaching- certainly in the primary sector. My hours at school are a minimum if 8.00 till 6.00 and my only ‘free periods’ are the 1 and a half hours PPA. In addition I work at home most evenings and always Sundays. Yes, we DO benefit from the holidays, but again, most primary teachers I know spend a good deal of holiday time either in school or doing work at home.
    Sad though it is that your partner is having such a hard time in the ‘real world’, that does not
    Mean they teachers should not fight for their own right to a decent work -life balance.

  7. Teachers do not get it as easy as you think and alot of those so called free periods are used to mark up students work and their day does not start when the pupils does, they have to go in at least an hour before. Your wife by the way needs to get a decent job with more socialable hours.

  8. Good grief ! Where are you working Mr Palmer ? I work every evening and most of the weekend and a good proportion of the holidays.There is no way the holidays compensate for this. Teachers are professionally under attack and need to stand up for their rights. As for most afternoon offs and lots of free periods – you are in la la land and so removed from the reality of a hardworking teacher. I am insulted by your attitude.

  9. If she doesn’t like it she should leave and find a better work life balance…but I think she’s probably relieved to get out of the house…;)

  10. I worked for 20+ years in other occupations before my 10 year teaching stint.
    In those other jobs, if working substantially less than my teacher’s working hours I could accrue, through flexi time working, sufficient time off in lieu to cover all school holidays.

    High workloads are almost always down to poor leadership and this is so widespread and deeply embedded that striking can’t possibly have an impact. But for the overworked a day off will be heaven!

  11. Lots of comments about my comment – mostly from teachers who have not (and probably never will) experience working in the private sector. (One has to have ability to do that).

    Teachers are a wishy-washy lot who think they are so hard-done-by, over-worked, bullied, given no respect, perpetually worn-out…

    Most chose to be teachers because it’s a “cushy”, soft-padded job where you pass your year’s failures onto the next person and absolve yourself of all accountability for them. It’s one job where the individual is not measured against tangible success. One can fail as a teacher year-after-year-after-year and nothing will ever get done about it.

    C’mon teachers – you have a very easy life – admit it. The strike is nothing more than a crude attempt at taking even more time off at the expense of your beleaguered pupils.

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