The NUT and NASUWT say they will go ahead with a one-day national strike before Christmas if their dispute over pay, pensions and jobs isn’t settled. Meanwhile, research has revealed that last week’s industrial action left parents footing hefty bills for extra childcare.
Last week’s walkouts in London, Cumbria, the South East, North East and South West followed industrial action in the North West in June and in The Midlands and Yorkshire at the start of October. So far Wales has not been affected, but would be included in a national strike, the BBC reports.
The NASUWT says it is likely that the planned one-day national strike will go ahead if the government does not address its concerns over performance-related pay, changes to their pensions, working conditions, and job cuts.
General secretary Chris Keates said: “The rolling programme of strike action has commanded support from the overwhelming majority of teachers. The Secretary of State can no longer claim that the majority of teachers support his reforms. Teachers’ anger and frustration is much in evidence and he now needs to begin to seriously address their concerns.”
The Government said that it has met the unions frequently to discuss their concerns but repeated its disappointment that the unions were striking over measures to allow head teachers to pay good teachers more.
Meanwhile, the Independent reports that the charity Findababysitter.com recorded a 77% increase in the number of adverts seeking emergency childcare. It estimated the average cost of child care caused by teachers’ industrial action at £100, making a total of £1.2 billion. CEO Tom Harrow commented: “These parents are paying their taxes and therefore should expect to be able to go to work while their children go to school.”
What do you think about a national strike before Christmas? Do you believe the figures quoted for extra childcare during recent industrial action – and if so do you have any sympathy for parents?