Regional action to go national

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?

6 thoughts on “Regional action to go national

  1. Doesn’t the massive childcare bill only further demonstrate just what an undervalued service teachers provide to the country?

    As someone who has just gotten my first teaching job, I’m not thrilled by the concept of striking, but this government is determined to blast through any and all opposition to deeply unpopular reforms which to my knowledge are not supported by any relevant academia. I think that free school and performance related pay are awful ideas which are going to fracture the educational system and create deep divides between the quality of education provided across the country.

    Strikes are justified, but it would be nice not to have to.

  2. I do have sympathy for parents and I think childcare costs in this country are disgraceful, anyway. However, I think that we have to stand up for our rights as professionals and industrial action is the only way we can do this. We will also lose a day’s pay and the fact that we are willing to do so, shows how strongly we feel about the constant attacks on our rights and conditions by the current government.

  3. What an uneducated comment on the part of the “CEO” what does the fact that those parents pay taxes have anything to do with teachers standing up against the way in which the valuable service they provide to society is being tarnished and devalued on a no good basis.

    Teachers lost out on pay too and also had to pay for childcare for those who didn’t have the privilege of being able to bring their kids to marches. I really hate the way teachers are demonised because of them fighting for their rights, and the way somehow this has now affected the poor parents who have had to get extra childcare – couldn’t those parents afford to lose out of one day of work the same way the teachers did ? Do those parent feel happy with the potential of their offspring being taught by 68 year old teachers who not matter how wise and competent might slightly be out of touch with them in a further education setting ?

    I am not a teacher and there are no teachers in my family but those so called “inconvenience” when they decide to strike play an essential part in the life, education and general shaping of our young people. I think this is more important than the 2 strikes as year they might engage in don’t you think ?

  4. The teachers have my full support. It seems every employer wants a race to the bottom for people’s terms and conditions, pensions & wages.

  5. I fully support the industrial action that took place in October. In fact it seems if we want the government to take notice this is the only way it can be done!!! Proper discussion with those who are affected by the decisions made by the government does not seem to be a priority. In fact it would be tempting to see what would happen if teachers went on strike for more than one day… I am a parent and I say go for it teachers – fight for your rights. It seems to be the only way we get the government to take people seriously. I don’t believe the cost of child care was that much. Most parents I met and spoke with had no difficulties sorting something out. They were happy to do so and many employers were flexible enough to allow older children to have a ‘day with mum/dad’ to see what life is like in the work place… Which when you think about it is educational in itself!!!

  6. Don’t strike – ‘work to rule’ ………….. no court would support the hours that teachers really work. As for falling for the ‘it’s a vocation’ crap – please ……. that was and is a myth. We work for pay to bring up our families and have ‘some’ quality of life QED!

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