NUT: national teachers’ strike in the summer ‘inevitable’

Teachers’ leaders have paved the way for the first national strike in almost two years as part of a major protest over pay cuts, pensions reforms and working conditions. This is from the Telegraph…

The National Union of Teachers insisted that a walk out was “inevitable” because of the Government’s “continual attack” on the profession.

It is understood that the NUT’s ruling executive will open talks with the NASUWT – the other major classroom union – with a view to taking strike action in the summer term.

A final decision on the move is expected to be taken at a meeting in mid-February.

If approved, it would be first time teachers have staged a national walk-out since November 2011 when schools across England and Wales were forced to shut.

Any major industrial action could cause chaos for pupils sitting GCSEs and A-levels and force millions of parents to pay for emergancy childcare.The announcement marks a dramatic escalation of the row between teaching unions and the Coalition, which has already seen the NUT and NASUWT taking part in a long-running work-to-rule protest.

Members are being instructed to closely follow their contacts – refusing to supervise pupils over lunchtime, cover for absent colleagues and invigilate exams – as part of a wide-ranging 25-point action plan.

Union leaders are already up in arms over public pay freezes and changes to pensions that will see teachers work for longer and pay more into their retirement fund.

They have also been infuriated by a decision – rubber-stamped by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, earlier this month – to introduce a new system of performance-related pay for teachers from September.

Today, the NUT’s executive met to discuss the next steps of its campaign against Government reforms.

Speaking after the meeting, Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said the Coalition’s education programmes has led to a crisis of morale in the profession.

“Teachers and education have come under continual attack from this Government and its Education Secretary,” she said.

“Michael Gove must understand that unless this onslaught against teachers’ pay, pensions and working conditions stops then strike action is inevitable.

“Teachers do not take strike action lightly but when the profession is being torn apart by a Government whose reforms have little to do with standards, or evidence, then the time to sit back has to end.”

The union is believed to be considered a strike date in the summer term – between April and early July.

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