NUT members form picket line outside Cowley

Striking teachers outside the school gates this morning

Striking teachers outside the school gates this morning

First published in News by

A GROUP of staff from Cowley International College picketed outside the school this morning as part of today’s National Union of Teachers strike.

Up to 32 schools in the borough have closed today due to the strikes with a further 16 partially open, including Cowley which is only open to sixth form students.

The strike across England and Wales is being held due to changes to teachers' pay, pensions and conditions, with five other public sector unions also striking.

Teachers have seen a government pay freeze along with the pension age being raised to 68.

The Department of Education has condemned the strikes stating that there was no justification behind them.

“We’re raising the issue of the pay fall in public sector workers in relation to inflation. We feel the Government is looking to discredit public sector,” said Cowley English teacher Debs Gwynn.

“It’s not just about pay for teachers, it’s also the workload which is not beneficial for students. We now have to justify everything we do and that’s really not helping the students.

“If nothing comes out of this and there’s no movement we’ll have to look at doing two or three day strikes.

“The money is out there. I am highly critical of the current government although at the moment I don’t feel Labour is offering any alternatives.”

Maths teacher Martin Fearn added: “We’d like Mr (Michael Gove) to listen to what we have got to say. This is about a range of things, pay, pensions, performance-related pay and workload – we hope he will listen to us.”

Union members from Unison, Unite, GMB, Public and Commercial Services Union and The Fire Brigade Union are also on strike today.

Comments (1)

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1:16pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Hughwithaview says...

Sorry - but teachers are not getting any sympathy from me. Whilst I accept that some of the youth today can be challenging to say the least, teachers are well paid and that is a fact. A newly qualified teacher can expect a starting salary of around 22k which is more than many other graduates can expect. An established primary school teacher gets in the region of 34k upwards and primary headteacher 56k upwards. Teachers in high schools are looking at substantially more.

On top of this they get enhanced payments for additional responsibility and lets not forget the paid holidays which no other profession replicates. Despite their protestations, their pension plan is still one that many in the private sector can only dream of.

Yes, they are required to do more these days with targets to meet, Ofsted inspections and schools staying open for longer but then that has become a feature of many jobs - less staff, more hours, increased retirement ages. Gone are the days when a teacher was on the way home by four o'clock, had six weeks uninterrupted summer holidays and was able to retire on a good pension at 55. Welcome to the real world!

I am fully aware that like all professions there are teachers who are fully committed to their calling, work very hard and go that extra mile for their pupils. However there are some who need a reality check and accept that just like for everyone else, the goalposts have moved, times have changed and despite this they are not doing too badly out of it.
Sorry - but teachers are not getting any sympathy from me. Whilst I accept that some of the youth today can be challenging to say the least, teachers are well paid and that is a fact. A newly qualified teacher can expect a starting salary of around 22k which is more than many other graduates can expect. An established primary school teacher gets in the region of 34k upwards and primary headteacher 56k upwards. Teachers in high schools are looking at substantially more. On top of this they get enhanced payments for additional responsibility and lets not forget the paid holidays which no other profession replicates. Despite their protestations, their pension plan is still one that many in the private sector can only dream of. Yes, they are required to do more these days with targets to meet, Ofsted inspections and schools staying open for longer but then that has become a feature of many jobs - less staff, more hours, increased retirement ages. Gone are the days when a teacher was on the way home by four o'clock, had six weeks uninterrupted summer holidays and was able to retire on a good pension at 55. Welcome to the real world! I am fully aware that like all professions there are teachers who are fully committed to their calling, work very hard and go that extra mile for their pupils. However there are some who need a reality check and accept that just like for everyone else, the goalposts have moved, times have changed and despite this they are not doing too badly out of it. Hughwithaview
  • Score: 1

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