Teachers have called off June’s industrial action after Coalition ministers in the DfE pledged to turn up to talks, but it may go ahead in July.
At Easter delegates at the NUT’s annual conference voted unanimously in favour of strike action for the week beginning 23rd June, at the end of GCSE and A-level exams. The union has now agreed to suspend the national walk-out, The Independent reports.
Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said that DfE ministers, including Michael Gove and David Laws, had failed to turn up to previous talks over teachers’ pay, pensions and workload. However, the Education Secretary has now indicated that he will attend the next round of talks, so the NUT has decided to postpone the stoppage. “This gives the Government several more weeks to demonstrate good faith in the talks. The NUT’s national executive will discuss the talks again when they next meet on 19th June,” Ms. Blower said. “However, progress is by no means certain and it is very important that we keep up our pressure on the Government.”
The NUT has warned that it will still strike on 10th July, a date earmarked by other unions for possible strike action, if progress is not made. In the meantime, NUT members from England and Wales will lobby Parliament on 10th June to raise MPs’ awareness of their views. “We hope this lobby can help avoid strike action,” Ms. Blower said. “The consequences further down the line of this Government’s education policies will be disastrous for a free and fair education system for all. Education is far too important an issue to ignore.”
A DfE spokesperson said: “There is no justification for further strikes which will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession. The unions asked for talks, we agreed to their request and talks are ongoing. Ministers have also met frequently with the unions and will continue to do so.”
Do you think the NUT is right to postpone strike action? Will you be lobbying MPs on the 10th June?