Teachers to stage strike in March, citing Michael Gove's 'relentless attack on every aspect of teachers' working lives'
NUT accuses Education Secretary of 'persistent refusals to address dispute over pay, pensions and conditions'
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Friday 07 February 2014
Thousands of schools face shutdown next month as teachers stage a one-day national strike over new moves to introduce performance related pay, increase their workload and raise their pension contributions.
Leaders of the National Union of Teachers say they have called a one-day strike for 26 March in protest at what they say is the failure of Education Secretary Michael Gove to hold constructive talks over the dispute.
The second union involved in the dispute, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, will decide next week over whether it will step industrial action, too.
“Strike action is always a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the fact that we have been put in a position whereby we have no alternative,” said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.
She said that after promising talks “subsequently, the Education Secretary has put obstacle after obstacle in the way of talks, showing no serious attempt to resolve - or even discuss - the matters in dispute”.
The strike, which follows a series of regional strikes last term and a work-to-rule which has been continuing for more than a year, comes as ministers have given heads the power to set teachers’ pay levels and are urging schools to stay open for up to 10 hours a day so pupils can do “prep” and take part in other extra-curricular activities - such as sport and debating societies.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more. They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request and those talks will begin shortly.”
Ms Blower said the strike could be called off if the Government entered into meaningful negotiations.
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
This is a volunteer role with paid expenses : Belong: Seeking volunteers who c...
£19000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in the devel...