STAFF at Rainhill High were back on the picket line this week as two further strikes were held in an ongoing dispute over alleged "unacceptable management practices". 

Teachers who are members of the NASUWT union had already held two days of strikes in March before the Easter holidays and were on the picket line again on Wednesday and Thursday this week. 

NASUWT representatives say the strike action was due to "unacceptable management practices by the employer toward teachers taking part in an ongoing national dispute over excessive workload".

They added that management had "failed to attend meetings" to discuss the "intimidation being experienced by staff taking part in action short of strike action at the school".

It is understood talks took place on Tuesday this week, with a NASUWT representative saying they were "unable to secure a reassurance that teachers could return to work without fear of intimidation or reprisal".  

A further 10 days of strike action are currently scheduled for Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26, Wednesday May 3, Thursday 4, Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10, Thursday 11, Tuesday 16, Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18.

Bevanie Robinson, NASUWT's national executive member for Merseyside and Cheshire, said: “The NASUWT remains committed to seeking to resolve the issues under dispute, but will always act to support members who are being subjected to unacceptable practices and intimidation by management.

“We sincerely hope that further strike action can be avoided and would implore the employer to agree to meet with us to discuss our members' concerns.”

A St Helens Council spokesman said the school's chair of governors has asked for union and staff members to come forward with any evidence and for the local authority to investigate them. 

However, no formal proceedings have as yet begun.

He said: “The council is not presently investigating allegations of intimidation at Rainhill High.

"The school’s chair of governors has asked all employees and NASUWT to come forward with specific concerns and evidence and has asked the council to investigate anything they receive.

"To date no response has been forthcoming from NASUWT or employees at the school."

A Rainhill High statement said: "The NASUWT have threatened 14 days of strike action between March 28 and the end of May 2017.

"This is under their national dispute with the government. The school will remain open as the NASUWT only represent a small minority of the teachers at Rainhill High School.

"The school is keen to resolve this and has referred this matter to ACAS and the Trustees are happy to meet with NASUWT and ACAS to resolve these issues."

Talks are due to resume today (Friday 21).