Teachers’ Strike Disrupts 10,000 Schools
Thousands of state schools will be closed or partially closed today by a one-day strike involving members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT).More than 10,000 schools are being disrupted across England and Wales as the NUT launches its first national strike in almost three years.
The walkout is the latest in a series of strikes in an ongoing row over pensions, performance-related pay and workloads.
Last year the NUT staged stoppages with the NASUWT union, which is not taking part in the latest action. The NASUWT has been encouraged by the promise of talks over the disputed issues.
Coventry physics teacher and NUT official Chris Denson said: “Since this Government has come to power we have seen a continual deterioration of teachers’ working conditions.
“You see the Department For Education’s own survey shows that working time has gone up massively in secondary and primary schools.
“But also since this Government has come to power a teacher’s take-home pay has come down by 17%. Our pensions, we have to pay more to get less at the end and have to work until 69. So there are a huge number of issues.”
A Department for Education statement 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 talks have been taking place weekly.
“Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”
The Government maintains less than a quarter of teachers voted for strike action. But NUT officials say the Government’s own figures back up their argument.
A recent survey suggested primary school teachers work nearly 60 hours a week, with secondary school teachers chalking up 56 hours.