'Championing the rights of children'

NUT threatens further strikes in escalation of campaign

Garry Fri 11 Jul 2014 08:03

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) refuses to rule out further strikes in the new academic year as figures show a fifth of schools were shut in Thursday's walkout.

Parents are facing further disruption after Britain’s biggest teaching union threatened fresh strike action – without holding a new ballot of members.

Leaders of the National Union of Teachers pledged to “press the case for further action” in the next academic year unless the Government makes vital concessions over pay, pensions and workload.

It emerged that the union, which led a national walkout on Thursday, will survey members from September to gauge levels of support for industrial action.

But the poll will stop short of a new legal ballot of teachers, despite criticism from David Cameron over the use of rolling strike action.

It paves the way for further national stoppages from September on top of the three walkouts staged by the union since it last balloted members two years ago.

The disclosure was made as the Government confirmed more than one-in-five schools – almost 6,000 – were forced to shut on Thursday in what was billed as the biggest public sector strike in almost 90 years. It is believed a similar number of schools may have been partially shut.

The Department for Education insisted it showed a lack of support for the protest, with the vast majority of teachers turning up to work.

Other unions including those representing firefighters, job centre staff, driving test instructors and local government staff also took action. But the Cabinet Office insisted the turnout was low, with just 18 per cent of civil servants taking part and every job centre remaining open.

However, it is believed the strike was more disruptive for the education system than an earlier stoppage staged by the NUT in March when just one-in-eight schools shut. The escalation follows support from the GMB and Unison – the main unions for support staff such as caretakers, dinner ladies and classroom assistants.

Read more... (Daily Telegraph -  10 July)