NUT agrees on strikes

Teachers pledged their support yesterday for strike action in response to government plans to curb pay rises and increase pension contributions.

But delegates to the National Union of Teachers' annual conference rejected demands to start the campaign with a one-day national strike in England and Wales this summer.

Instead, the campaign will start with a strike in the North-west on 27 June, followed by regional strikes in the autumn. There will also be a one-day national strike before Christmas. The moves are in line with an agreement with the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, which will debate the action at its conference in Bournemouth today.

Arguing for the one-day strike this summer, Martin Powell, from south London, said: "This conference has to send a message to [Michael] Gove that we're in a serious battle and that means we're prepared for national strike action next term."

Mr Gove has said he will talk to leaders but insists the "direction of travel" for his plans is "fixed".