National Union of Teachers vote to strike

St Helens Star: Education secretary Michael Gove Education secretary Michael Gove

Teachers are to stage a fresh national strike in a long-running row over pay, pensions and conditions.

Members of the National Union of Teachers in England and Wales will walk out on March 26 after accusing Education Secretary Michael Gove of "persistent refusals" to address their complaints.

The union has held a series of strikes since first balloting its members almost three years ago, but more recently called off industrial action as talks were held.

General secretary Christine Blower said: " Michael Gove's persistent refusals to address our ongoing dispute over pay, pensions and conditions of service, is unnecessary and deeply damaging.

"As a result, thousands of good, experienced teachers are leaving or considering leaving the job and a teacher shortage crisis is looming with two in five teachers leaving the profession in their first five years.

"The NUT and NASUWT met with government officials in October - now over 17 weeks ago. Reassurances were given that Michael Gove would talk about a wide range of matters on implementation of pay and pensions and the direction of travel and implementation on conditions.

"Subsequently, the Education Secretary has put obstacle after obstacle in the way of talks, showing no serious attempt to resolve - or even to discuss - the matters in dispute.

"We on the other hand have made every effort. We cancelled the strike planned for November and postponed action in February. We have indicated we will meet with Michael Gove anywhere, any time to seek to resolve the disputes in the interest of the education service.

"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. "

Ms Blower said responsibility for the dispute lies "fairly and squarely" at the door of the "intransigent" Education Secretary, adding: "His policies are losing the coalition parties votes. It is time he changed his attitude and listened to the genuine concerns of teachers."

Leaders of the NASUWT teachers' union will meet on February 14 to consider calling industrial action.

The union has today written to Mr Gove asking for "discreet meetings" to be called to try to end the deadlocked row.

General secretary Chris Keates said: " The Secretary of State must understand that the teaching profession is on the verge of a crisis. The relentless attack on every aspect of teachers' working lives is taking its toll.

"NASUWT members have been engaged in industrial action since November 2011.

"It was deeply disappointing to teachers that, having agreed in October 2013 to a programme of talks with the NASUWT and NUT, the Secretary of State did not take the opportunity to progress this, despite planned strike action for November 2013 being called off to allow progress to be made.

"The only way to resolve a dispute is for the parties directly involved to sit down to have serious discussions on the issues of concern."

Teachers have been involved in a series of strikes since the coalition came to office, joining the national public sector walkout over pensions in November 2011 following a previous strike over pensions in June 2011.

The NUT conducted two separate ballots, one on pensions in May 2011 and another on pay and conditions in June 2012, which both apply to the forthcoming strike in March.

Regional strikes have been held, sometimes in conjunction with the NASUWT, and both unions have carried out joint action short of strike action on shared issues since October 2012.

Ms Blower said morale among teachers had "plummeted", adding that their average pay had fallen by 15% since the coalition was formed because of higher pension contributions and pay freezes or below inflation increases.

There has also been an increase in workload, with teachers working up to 60 hours a week, she said.

She told the Press Association: "Teachers have always worked long hours, and many have worked over their weekend, but what we are hearing is that so much of what they are now required to do is for accountability - box ticking, form filling and bureaucracy.

"The secretary of state has failed to meet us to engage in talks."

Along with other public sector workers such as firefighters, teachers faced working until their late 60s, the NUT said.

A Department for Education spokesperson 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.

"Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is nevertheless taking strike action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."

Members of the Welsh teachers' union UCAC will also strike on March 26 alongside the NUT.

Deputy general secretary Dilwyn Roberts-Young said: "Michael Gove has destroyed teachers' pay structure, and has largely dismantled what was a perfectly sensible and workable pay system.

"His changes to teachers' pensions will be damaging, not only to teachers, but to the education system itself.

"We are pleased to be working alongside the NUT on a matter of such importance to teachers all over Wales."

Comments (12)

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4:37pm Sat 8 Feb 14

MrBenggo says...

Can you blame 'em for voting to strike,the people of this country are fed up with these Tory b astards,notice MP'S don't vote for worse pensions and working longer,recently an 11% increase in wages was being offered to 'em.
Can you blame 'em for voting to strike,the people of this country are fed up with these Tory b astards,notice MP'S don't vote for worse pensions and working longer,recently an 11% increase in wages was being offered to 'em. MrBenggo

6:17pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Sankey says...

What would make a headline is

Teachers don't go on strike

They are militant and refuse to embrace any form of change or improvements and given the dire state of education in this country that is both selfish and a national tradegy and the losers are the children, their parents and the nation at large our future prosperity depends on our ability to compete in a global market
What would make a headline is Teachers don't go on strike They are militant and refuse to embrace any form of change or improvements and given the dire state of education in this country that is both selfish and a national tradegy and the losers are the children, their parents and the nation at large our future prosperity depends on our ability to compete in a global market Sankey

4:52pm Sun 9 Feb 14

peterxu says...

At least the kids will have a break.
Please let the kids go to schools 4 days a week. They need a proper childhood!
At least the kids will have a break. Please let the kids go to schools 4 days a week. They need a proper childhood! peterxu

9:17pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Sankey says...

It's also inhuman and wicked to expect teachers to work more than 4 days a week this government has a lot to answer for.
It's also inhuman and wicked to expect teachers to work more than 4 days a week this government has a lot to answer for. Sankey

11:41pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Sankey wrote:
It's also inhuman and wicked to expect teachers to work more than 4 days a week this government has a lot to answer for.
So speaks the Tory Education spokesman who knows all about education because many years ago he went to school which apparently did not teach him arithmetic as Monday to Friday is 5 days not 4. Most teachers work 7 days a week spending their week-ends preparing the next week's lessons and marking.
At the Primary school where I am a Governor, as I go for my "Times" at 7.30 see the staff driving into school and when I am at a Meeting with the head I see them leaving at 6pm pulling a suitcase which certainly does not contain their sandwiches! This Wednesday 4 members of staff were at a Governor meeting until well past 8pm. I wonder what our friend Mr. Sankey was doing then?
Yes teachers have an easy life?
[quote][p][bold]Sankey[/bold] wrote: It's also inhuman and wicked to expect teachers to work more than 4 days a week this government has a lot to answer for.[/p][/quote]So speaks the Tory Education spokesman who knows all about education because many years ago he went to school which apparently did not teach him arithmetic as Monday to Friday is 5 days not 4. Most teachers work 7 days a week spending their week-ends preparing the next week's lessons and marking. At the Primary school where I am a Governor, as I go for my "Times" at 7.30 see the staff driving into school and when I am at a Meeting with the head I see them leaving at 6pm pulling a suitcase which certainly does not contain their sandwiches! This Wednesday 4 members of staff were at a Governor meeting until well past 8pm. I wonder what our friend Mr. Sankey was doing then? Yes teachers have an easy life? Bill Bradbury

12:27am Fri 14 Feb 14

barrie timpson says...

Err Bill , I think he was being ironic.
They don't have he only job in the world with long hours.
Yesterday I was at the gym at 7 am - I got home at 10 pm. I don't have a big fat pension and I have to lug a big heavy bag around and get punched in the face.
If I go on strike are all the teachers going to back me up?

Let me tell you something else mate , it's ugly of you to say people can't have an informed opinion because they "went to school once" , that's a very closed approach.
Every time The Star writes a boxing article - should I chastise them because they haven't been in the ring???
Err Bill , I think he was being ironic. They don't have he only job in the world with long hours. Yesterday I was at the gym at 7 am - I got home at 10 pm. I don't have a big fat pension and I have to lug a big heavy bag around and get punched in the face. If I go on strike are all the teachers going to back me up? Let me tell you something else mate , it's ugly of you to say people can't have an informed opinion because they "went to school once" , that's a very closed approach. Every time The Star writes a boxing article - should I chastise them because they haven't been in the ring??? barrie timpson

7:43am Fri 14 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Barrie, Yes you work hard for very little I suspect but not all jobs are on an equal pay footing. You are not comparing like with like. You make my point exactly as I would not be able to tell you the intracacies and pressures of your job but teachers-everyone is an expert and entitled to comment.

As I am at the "sharp end" of the profession I know exactly the presures of teaching and the ammont of political interference that goes on,-- most unlikely in your job? I don't suppose you have to write a lesson plan for every one of your clients then write a copious report afterwards nor do you have someone looking over your shoulder every 5 minutes telling you where you are going wrong? And of course you will be expected to work until you are 70 and probably sacked as your performance deteriorates

I don't mind comment but let it be informed rather than swallow the Daily Mail and Torygraph editorial. As I write I would not have the temerity to comment upon your job-I know nothing about it and I could say all you do is loll around the gym all day which is an outrageous statement?

At least Gove did not get his way but he will use the STRB report today to say that the strike action is unessessary as he has not foisted on them any changes but elections are due soon. He will get around to that when they are returned to power Ukip permitting??
Barrie, Yes you work hard for very little I suspect but not all jobs are on an equal pay footing. You are not comparing like with like. You make my point exactly as I would not be able to tell you the intracacies and pressures of your job but teachers-everyone is an expert and entitled to comment. As I am at the "sharp end" of the profession I know exactly the presures of teaching and the ammont of political interference that goes on,-- most unlikely in your job? I don't suppose you have to write a lesson plan for every one of your clients then write a copious report afterwards nor do you have someone looking over your shoulder every 5 minutes telling you where you are going wrong? And of course you will be expected to work until you are 70 and probably sacked as your performance deteriorates I don't mind comment but let it be informed rather than swallow the Daily Mail and Torygraph editorial. As I write I would not have the temerity to comment upon your job-I know nothing about it and I could say all you do is loll around the gym all day which is an outrageous statement? At least Gove did not get his way but he will use the STRB report today to say that the strike action is unessessary as he has not foisted on them any changes but elections are due soon. He will get around to that when they are returned to power Ukip permitting?? Bill Bradbury

9:16am Fri 14 Feb 14

mattmxl says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
Barrie, Yes you work hard for very little I suspect but not all jobs are on an equal pay footing. You are not comparing like with like. You make my point exactly as I would not be able to tell you the intracacies and pressures of your job but teachers-everyone is an expert and entitled to comment.

As I am at the "sharp end" of the profession I know exactly the presures of teaching and the ammont of political interference that goes on,-- most unlikely in your job? I don't suppose you have to write a lesson plan for every one of your clients then write a copious report afterwards nor do you have someone looking over your shoulder every 5 minutes telling you where you are going wrong? And of course you will be expected to work until you are 70 and probably sacked as your performance deteriorates

I don't mind comment but let it be informed rather than swallow the Daily Mail and Torygraph editorial. As I write I would not have the temerity to comment upon your job-I know nothing about it and I could say all you do is loll around the gym all day which is an outrageous statement?

At least Gove did not get his way but he will use the STRB report today to say that the strike action is unessessary as he has not foisted on them any changes but elections are due soon. He will get around to that when they are returned to power Ukip permitting??
"As I am at the "sharp end" of the profession I know exactly the presures of teaching and the ammont of political interference that goes on"

Even if you can't spell! I sincerely hope it isn't English you teach!
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: Barrie, Yes you work hard for very little I suspect but not all jobs are on an equal pay footing. You are not comparing like with like. You make my point exactly as I would not be able to tell you the intracacies and pressures of your job but teachers-everyone is an expert and entitled to comment. As I am at the "sharp end" of the profession I know exactly the presures of teaching and the ammont of political interference that goes on,-- most unlikely in your job? I don't suppose you have to write a lesson plan for every one of your clients then write a copious report afterwards nor do you have someone looking over your shoulder every 5 minutes telling you where you are going wrong? And of course you will be expected to work until you are 70 and probably sacked as your performance deteriorates I don't mind comment but let it be informed rather than swallow the Daily Mail and Torygraph editorial. As I write I would not have the temerity to comment upon your job-I know nothing about it and I could say all you do is loll around the gym all day which is an outrageous statement? At least Gove did not get his way but he will use the STRB report today to say that the strike action is unessessary as he has not foisted on them any changes but elections are due soon. He will get around to that when they are returned to power Ukip permitting??[/p][/quote]"As I am at the "sharp end" of the profession I know exactly the presures of teaching and the ammont of political interference that goes on" Even if you can't spell! I sincerely hope it isn't English you teach! mattmxl

9:35am Fri 14 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

mattmxi, It is the custom on this site over the years not to criticise anyone who makes spelling mistakes or in my case typing ones (due to crumbs in the keyboard?) It is the points they make not spelling or syntax that matters or how many gerunds are used.
All comments are welcome especially those that agree with me!!! Let you into one secret which I have never yet overcome. Words like Government and comment I often have to go back on for my keystokes when I am in full flow I have a tendency to write commnet!-(to illistrate??!)
mattmxi, It is the custom on this site over the years not to criticise anyone who makes spelling mistakes or in my case typing ones (due to crumbs in the keyboard?) It is the points they make not spelling or syntax that matters or how many gerunds are used. All comments are welcome especially those that agree with me!!! Let you into one secret which I have never yet overcome. Words like Government and comment I often have to go back on for my keystokes when I am in full flow I have a tendency to write commnet!-(to illistrate??!) Bill Bradbury

12:25pm Fri 14 Feb 14

barrie timpson says...

Well I do have to write out a training plan for each customer if that counts??

Besides I'm off today and I'm up to my eyes in Burchalls meat pies , so it's highly unlikely you'll get much moaning from me today !!
Well I do have to write out a training plan for each customer if that counts?? Besides I'm off today and I'm up to my eyes in Burchalls meat pies , so it's highly unlikely you'll get much moaning from me today !! barrie timpson

2:05pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

barrie timpson wrote:
Well I do have to write out a training plan for each customer if that counts?? Besides I'm off today and I'm up to my eyes in Burchalls meat pies , so it's highly unlikely you'll get much moaning from me today !!
You are a man after my own heart. Burchalls pies!! If they ever closed I would give up the will to live. Looking forward to one in the Masons, Billinge, tonight. You are forgiven!!!!
[quote][p][bold]barrie timpson[/bold] wrote: Well I do have to write out a training plan for each customer if that counts?? Besides I'm off today and I'm up to my eyes in Burchalls meat pies , so it's highly unlikely you'll get much moaning from me today !![/p][/quote]You are a man after my own heart. Burchalls pies!! If they ever closed I would give up the will to live. Looking forward to one in the Masons, Billinge, tonight. You are forgiven!!!! Bill Bradbury

3:30pm Fri 14 Feb 14

barrie timpson says...

Cheers Bill !
Cheers Bill ! barrie timpson

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