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News - 6 June 2012

Threat of Teachers Industrial Action

The two biggest teachers' unions, the NUT and NASUWT, are threatening strikes in the autumn in England and Wales over workload, cuts, pensions and plans for local pay.

The heads of both unions have written to Education Secretary Michael Gove warning of the "deep concerns" of teachers and calling on him to engage in talks with this joint campaign.

The two unions - now forming their own coalition against Coalition education policies - described their alliance as an "historic joint agreement".

It throws down a gauntlet to government - offering a "time limited" window for talks, followed by the threat of a campaign to oppose education policy.

This could include strikes in the autumn term - but the union leaders suggested it could also mean refusing to co-operate with some government initiatives.

Conservative MP Gavin Williamson accused the unions of putting their own "vested interests above the interests of the young people".

The Unions set out grievances on a wide range of issues - including pay and pensions - but they focused on their belief that teachers were being subjected to unfair public attacks from government.

Earlier this month, the government submitted proposals for teachers' pay that would mean far-reaching changes, including that pay could be set at a local rather than national level and would be more strongly linked to performance.

Labour's Shadow Education Minister, Sharon Hodgson, said: "Clearly no-one wants to see schools being disrupted. We urge all sides to continue dialogue so as to avoid industrial action.

As always, we at ABDS will keep you informed as the situation develops.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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