NUT goes it alone in strike action

Pupils stayed at home as the NUT took industrial action in its long-running dispute with the government; the NASUWT declined to participate.

The industrial action resulted in many schools being completely or partially closed, as teachers joined rallies and picket lines, the BBC reports.

The NUT staged a series of regional strikes with the NASUWT last year. A proposed one-day national strike last November was called off after talks with the government, and the NASUWT decided not to take part in Wednesday’s action because of ongoing talks.

The overall impact of the strike wasn’t clear, with individual schools making their own arrangements, depending on how many of their staff went on strike. There were regional variations in the number of schools affected: 400 in the North East and Cumbria, 80 in Warwickshire and 12 in Coventry.

The NUT’s Christine Blower called for a “change of policy” to resolve the bitter dispute and said that the strike was a success: “Certainly the message we are getting is that the action is well-supported. On the back of the 60-hour week workload diary survey teachers are just feeling overwhelmed.” The DfE claimed that “well under a quarter” of schools in England were closed; in Wales the figure was 297.

On Tuesday, Michael Gove wrote to union leaders, setting out the progress he believed had been made in an ongoing programme of talks between the DfE and the unions. “I have been following the progress of the weekly talks closely and am encouraged by reports from the meetings so far,” he wrote. Schools Minister David Laws said there was no basis for the strike, because of ongoing negotiations.  “I do not understand why the NUT are taking this industrial action in the middle of talks,” he said.

The DfE condemned the industrial action.  “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,” an official said.”They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly. Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”

Did you take part in the strike and if so were you concerned about the effect on your pupils’ education? If you’re a NASUWT member, do you think the union was right to refuse to join the NUT?


4 thoughts on “NUT goes it alone in strike action

  1. David Laws seems to think teachers are stupid and that this Government can hoodwink us all with their spin on pay. So far as my knowledge is concerned this dispute is not centred on money disputes. It is about employing young staff to do the work of experienced teachers due to many either dropping out because of the long working week and stress related concerns to health, or head teachers employing cheaply paid young inexperienced graduates . The reason for this is because headteachers are not recieving the funds to adequately meet with the cost for an adequate supply of long serving experienced teachers and staff to help cope with the demand; and they will continue to do so if they are to manage their finances. This mostly applies to state run schools but there are privately run schools that are not given the funds to adequately supply their schools with sufficient experienced teaching staff and resources. This spin is the usual moral high ground with which this Government use to give the teachiers a bad name and place public pressure on them to submit to their devious poliicies. I am not a teacher, but the parent of a daughter who is taking her GCSE’s. However, a one day strike will not affect her or any other child. If anything it will place more pressure on teachers as they will have a geat deal of work to catch up with if they are to meet with deadlines. I support this teachers dispute one hundred per cent.

  2. I was as worried about the impact on the children in my class as I was about the day off for the royal wedding and for the local election next month. Not at all I am a good teacher I will make up any effect. Tell us how much out pension pot is worth I am paid less now than I was 5 years ago because of the increase in my pension contribution.

  3. Completely agree with Graham Berry’s post. I am no longer a teacher, I work in the NHS, but I took annual leave to support the teachers and joined the picket lines and the rally through Leicester. I imagine that many teachers will be joining the NUT union, as it is the only voice within the teaching profession fighting attacks on its members – pay and conditions, the threat of unqualified teachers doing the job on the cheap, privatisation through Free Schools and Academies. We should support teachers in their fight to protect a decent education for our children.

  4. The DfE condemned the industrial action. “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,”

    – And what is the Dfe definition of ‘good’? Does he mean the Ofsted ‘good’ that applies to 80% of schools? Are they staying that at least three-quarters of teachers will get a substantial payrise?

    Or is this yet more BS and a dishonest representation of the dispute from the government?

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