Teacher strikes

NASUWT members vote for industrial action

'Continuous action' short of strikes from September, with potential for co-ordinated industrial action with other unions in Autumn

'Continuous action' short of strikes from September, with potential for co-ordinated industrial action with other unions in Autumn

Dr Patrick Roach

Members of the NASUWT teaching union in England have voted in favour of industrial action over pay, workload and working time.

The union said it intends to issue notice of “a programme of continuous action short of strike action” commencing in September. Details will be announced shortly.

The union will also consider dates for autumn term strike action “coordinated with other education unions where possible”.

In total, 88.5 per cent of eligible members voted to support strike action and 94.3 per cent voted in support of action short of strike action, based on an overall turnout of 51.9 per cent.

As well as meeting the 50 per cent turnout threshold, this also passes the threshold requiring 40 per cent of all eligible members to vote ‘yes’.

The vote equates to 46 per cent of all members voting to strike, and 49 per cent in support of action short of a strike.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said members have secured the union’s “largest mandate” for industrial action in over a decade.

“Our members’ goodwill has been taken for granted for far too long. Excessive workload demands have become so debilitating that we have seen record numbers of teachers and headteachers leaving the profession, or reporting anxiety, work-related stress and self-harm because of the pressures of the job.”

All four teaching and leadership unions have been balloting members on strike action in the long-running pay and workload dispute.

NASUWT re-balloted teachers after it failed to meet the legal turnout threshold for strike action in January.

The National Education Union has already held eight days of national strike action this year. If members vote to strike again, this will give them a mandate to launch action up until Christmas.

‘Stop playing politics’

Unions rejected March’s pay offer and education secretary Gillian Keegan is under growing pressures to release the School Teachers’ Review Body’s report on pay.

It follows the leak of the STRB’s main recommendation – a pay rise of 6.5 per cent for next year.

However chancellor Jeremy Hunt has reportedly told ministers there will be no extra cash to fund pay rises.

Roach added: “The government must urgently resolve teachers’ demands for concrete measures to tackle excessive workload and working hours and to secure real terms pay restoration.

“The government must stop playing politics, publish the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body and put an end to the damaging speculation they have allowed to develop over recent weeks.”

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