Strike action will not change Coalition policies

In a provocative letter to teaching unions, the Education Secretary has confirmed that talks to resolve the industrial dispute will not change his pay and pensions reforms.

Michael Gove is once again on a collision course with teachers, just over a week after the NUT and NASUWT suspended a planned walk-out before Christmas, the Telegraph reports.

In a letter to the unions Mr. Gove insisted that his reforms are ‘fixed’ and ruled out any possible changes. Although he wrote that he was committed to “resolving your trade disputes” and that he had “offered a programme of talks”, he insisted that the talks would focus on the “implementation of policy, given that the direction of policy on pay and pensions is fixed following full consultation”.

In a further provocative move, he revealed that other unions would be invited to the negotiations, including two headteacher associations. “This will help ensure that all are represented fairly, and striking unions do not have any unfair advantage over other organisations which have not taken strike action,” he said.

The unions responded to the letter in a joint statement:  “The NUT and the NASUWT are, therefore, disappointed that the Secretary of State, rather than seeking genuinely to engage in talks to seek to resolve our disputes has, in his letter of 6 November, resorted to provocation. The NASUWT and the NUT have issued today a further joint letter highlighting to the Secretary of State the importance of committing to genuine talks to seek resolution of the trade disputes.”

If negotiations fail to make sufficient progress, the unions warn that the planned national strike will go ahead no later than 13th February.

What do you think of Mr. Gove’s statement that his reforms are ‘fixed’? Would you support a national strike?

7 thoughts on “Strike action will not change Coalition policies

  1. The only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him ! A nation wide strike over a prolonged period of time will give him second thoughts !

  2. When you think it can’t get any worse, Mr. Gove can always be relied upon. Let’s not forget these reforms are mainly ideological and not based on sound advice and reasoning. Austerity has provided the perfect excuse for the reforms which the coalition never in their wildest dreams thought they could implement ….. I fear the worst!!

  3. I do agree that strike action will not change Mr Gove’s fixed attitude but it is the only recourse we have to let him know how we feel because he is just not listening to the majority of the professionals within education. We are vilified at every turn and even today we are apparently not respectful enough according to Sir Michael Wilshaw. Well we know what his methods of leadership were like and frankly neither of these men know anything about working alongside and with colleagues. I would respectfully suggest they do not respect us as professionals…

  4. I’m absolutely supportive of the teachers dispute over the Government stubborn refusal to come to the negotiating table. The Government have, throughout, refused to compromise their position over cuts throughout their public sector cuts. They are undermining teachers democratic right to protect their living standards and what I believe to be acknowledgment of deserved recognition of their input to future prospects and influence of this country in the world.

  5. Top down tinkering yet again!The model of respect built by successive governments and our endearing ‘blame’ culture which has been carefully nurtured and aptly encompassed in this weeks anouncements of possible 5 year prison sentences for medical professionals for patient neglect!
    What a State we are in!

  6. HOW HORRENDOUS A SITUATION! Genuinely vocationally minded, totally committed professionals like myself and colleagues being vilified. This is a corrupt government devoid of any humanity.

  7. Gove is part of the growing right wing element in Cameron’s government …… they are adopting a Thatcherite approach to all who stand in the way of their half-baked reforms of the public sector. In the case of education they appointed Wilshaw who is so far removed from reality questions must be asked about his fitness to be in post at all…..

    ‘Action’ is entirely appropriate, however, not strike action. The whole public sector is sustained by the good will of the employees. Teachers work way beyond their contracted hours and often carry out tasks not covered in their contracts of employment. I would suggest that a centrally orchestrated ‘work to rule’ (with no time limits) will move the power away from the government, Ofsted and senior leadership teams to the work-force.

    The unions need to brief lawyers to produce a pamphlet to be issued to every member who, in the event of threats by the employer, can simply quote their rights and highlight the consequences should they be breached.

    Stop talking to Gove etal and simply take their power away by refusing to negotiate and work to rule….

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