The TES is reporting claims from Chris Keates that teachers are “in a win-win situation” following a withdrawal from strike action by one of the big two classroom teaching unions…
Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, was speaking as her union prepared for its annual conference this weekend, where delegates will decide how to continue their campaign for better pensions, pay and conditions; and fewer job losses.
It decided to pull out of a planned joint national strike with the NUT last month citing a “belated commitment” by education secretary, Michael Gove, to discuss the NASUWT’s concerns.
Now, in a TES interview, Ms Keates has expressed scepticism about the government’s willingness to “engage”. But she said the union’s decision to take the offer of talks at face value had left her members in a strong position.
“We are in a win-win situation because if he [Mr Gove] is genuinely engaging we have got an opportunity make a difference for teachers,” the general secretary said.
“If he isn’t genuinely engaging, then the anger of teachers is going to just increase, particularly as it gets closer to a general election.”
The weekly talks with the Department for Education (DfE) have broken up for Easter after a late February start. Ms Keates said it was still “too early to tell” whether they were a success or failure.
She expects to know by May whether progress was possible and warned that the possibility of further joint strike action with the NUT was “always there”.
NASUWT conference delegates will vote on Sunday morning to decide what to do if the talks do not achieve the results they want. Neither Mr Gove, nor any other government minister, is travelling to Birmingham to hear their views…
Your thoughts on NASUWT’s position here? Is Chris Keates right to suggest that by taking Michael Gove at face value NASUWT is putting teachers in a win-win position? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…