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News - 7 February 2014

Teachers Announce March 26 Strike

The National Union of Teachers have announced March 26th as the latest stoppage in their long-running dispute and they are blaming Education Secretary Michael Gove for "persistent refusals" to address their complaints concerning pay, pensions and conditions.

They claim the Education Secretary's lack of movement on the issue had left them with no alternative but to take industrial action, and they have warned Mr Gove his policies were losing him both votes and teachers as thousands were leaving the profession because of measures he has introduced.

 The other big teaching union, the NASUWT, has walked out alongside the NUT in the last two national strikes. But the NASUWT still has to decide whether it will go out on strike again and is due to meet next week.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“The dispute centres on the introduction of a new performance-related pay structure and tougher pension package. If both Unions decide to strike nearly every school could potentially be affected by the action, as the unions have members in all schools in England and Wales.”

In a statement, NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said:
"Reassurances were given that Michael Gove would talk about a wide range of matters on implementation of pay and pensions and the direction of travel and implementation on conditions. Subsequently, the education secretary has put obstacle after obstacle in the way of talks, showing no serious attempt to resolve - or even to discuss - the matters in dispute.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Women Teachers, said: "It was deeply disappointing to teachers that, having agreed in October 2013 to a programme of talks with the NASUWT and NUT, the secretary of state did not take the opportunity to progress this, despite planned strike action for November 2013 being called off to allow progress to be made.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government's measures to let heads pay good teachers more.

"They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and those talks will begin shortly. Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is nevertheless taking strike action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
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