NUT: Teachers’ strikes loom after election unless funding crisis tackled

The Guardian is reporting warnings from Christine Blower that schools in England and Wales could face post-election strikes if the next government fails to tackle looming education funding issues…

Blower ruled out any action before the general election in May, saying the union would seek to hold discussions with incoming ministers “and take stock”.

Delegates to the NUT’s national conference in Harrogate will debate an emergency motion this weekend protesting against the real-terms cuts to school funding being offered by both the Conservative and Labour parties during the election campaign.

The motion’s wording includes a call for the union to “prepare for and ballot for a national campaign of strike and non-strike action, seeking the involvement of other teaching unions and non-teaching unions where appropriate, on the impact of cuts on pay and working conditions if no progress is made in talks with the new government on the issue of funding”.

If accepted by the conference, balloting could take place with an eye to possible strike action as early as the summer term, although Blower said forms of industrial action that did not include outright strikes were also an option…

More at: Teachers’ strikes loom after election unless funding crisis tackled, NUT says

 

It certainly appears to me that all the main political parties are being disingenous with the public over school funding in the run up to the election by ignoring the amount that we know costs are going to rise.

However, is preparing for strikes even before we’ve voted the right course of action?

Perhaps all the unions should have been talking much more loudly about these weaknesses in the funding proposals across the board and trying to get school funding a higher profile part of the election debate – currently it barely gets a mention as far as I can tell. Please tell us what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove All parties very similar regarding education, especially when it comes to funding it. Essentially want to cut budgets

  2. 5N_Afzal

    How will strikes help? That would put students and parents in an impossible position. Other public services facing funding shortages too. Haven’t heard NHS staff threatenig striking.

  3. 5N_Afzal Striking is a long way off.  Blower is warning of ballots about industrial action which isn’t confined to strikes.  Other forms of industrial action eg working to rule would be considered. 

    As I said, this takes time.  And it could be averted if a party (or parties) commit to protecting school funding in line with inflation.

    That said, education appears to be low in pre-election priorities.  It was barely mentioned in the Leaders’ debate and confined to university tuition fees.  Perhaps Blower’s call for ballots for industrial action is an attempt to push education up the agenda.  It’s certainly made the headlines.

    However, it could prove to be an own-goal and Tories start yelling about self-interests Marxist teachers etc etc.

  4. h_emoney

    SchoolsImprove I will ballot for strike action, wish Al teachers will do same. Schools are facing serious cuts going by party manifesto.

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