Teachers vote to join TUC day of action

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The Independent Online

Thousands of teachers are set to join the mass walkout by public-sector workers on 30 November after the NASUWT voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over changes to their pensions.

More than 220,000 teachers and school leaders took part in the union's first national ballot for more than a decade, with 82 per cent voting in favour of strike action and 91 per cent voting in favour of action short of strikes.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said the union's members had voted "overwhelmingly to reclaim the classroom and their profession" but that industrial action would be "pupil-, parent- and public-friendly". Turnout for the ballot was more than 40 per cent.

More than two million workers are expected to walk out for a day of action co-ordinated by the TUC, which will disrupt schools, courts, government offices, job centres, council services and hospitals.

The minister for Schools, Nick Gibb, said: "Strikes benefit no one. They damage pupils' education, disrupt parents' lives, and undermine teachers' professional reputation.

"Reforms to public-sector pensions are essential. The cost to the taxpayer of teacher pensions is already forecast to double from £5bn in 2006 to £10bn in 2016."