Teachers threaten fresh wave of strikes
Published: 28th May 2012 11:13:36
The two biggest teachers' unions are threatening co-ordinated strikes in the autumn in England and Wales over jobs, pensions, workload and pay.
The National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT announced a joint campaign over serious concerns about the government's education reforms.
Conditions, workload, pensions, pay and jobs are under attack, they said.
The two unions, which represent 85% of teachers, promised an "unprecedented" joint campaign on these issues.
The heads of both unions have written to Education Secretary Michael Gove to give him an ultimatum.
"Should the government refuse to take the current opportunity to negotiate sensible arrangements which protect teachers and defend education, then it is our intention to move to escalate industrial action, including jointly coordinated strike action and action short of strike action in the autumn," they said in a joint statement.
Occasionally saying we have the best generation of teachers we've ever had in no way compensates for the onslaught of attacks”
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: "Since the government came into office, there has been a relentless and unprecedented assault on teachers' pay and conditions of service.
"This assault on teachers is damaging standards of education. Our two unions... are united in our determination to defend education by protecting teachers."
NUT general secretary Christine Blower echoed these sentiments, adding: "Occasionally saying we have the best generation of teachers we've ever had in no way compensates for the onslaught of attacks and threats to pay, pensions and working conditions.
"We need to stand together to protect our profession and the education system. It is more important than ever that we work together to achieve these goals for all our members."
Union officials said teaching was now in "crisis", with growing numbers considering quitting, and virtually everyone opposed to government policies.
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