Teachers vote to strike over George Osborne’s cuts to schools

NUT votes by 91.7 per cent for industrial action

 

Today the National Union of Teachers (NUT) voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over pay and conditions on July 5.

The strike will call for more funding for schools and education, guarantees of terms and conditions to all types of school, and a return to negotiations on teacher contracts regarding workload.

47,000 people, or 91.7 per cent, of votes cast supported industrial action, though turnout was low at 24.5 per cent of those issued with a ballot.

Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the NUT, said:

‘The NUT is not taking action lightly. In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.’

He said school funding cuts are seeing class sizes increase and less subject choices, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicting bigger real terms cuts to funding per pupil.

Courtney said ‘schools urgently need extra funding’ to address National Insurance and pension payment increases imposed by the government, which amount to a five per cent charge for schools on teachers’ pay:

 

‘George Osborne is freezing the cash per pupil he gives to schools, whilst increasing what he takes from them. For every 20 teachers employed, a school has to find an extra teacher salary to give to the Treasury.’

He said the government’s push for turning schools into academies could would affect ‘pay and working conditions, including maternity/paternity rights and sick pay, being made at school level’, adding:.

‘There is absolutely no evidence that this sort of deregulation will lead to higher standards.’

Courtney also called on Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to speak with the NUT and others to resolve these problems in the interests of pupils and teachers.

 

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.