Up to 200 members of staff at the National Education Union will go on strike this Thursday.
The GMB and Unite unions, which represents trade union employees, have announced the first day of industrial action after 88 per cent of eligible members voted in favour of strike action.
The dispute is over a consultation carried out following the NEU’s formation last September, when the National Union of Teachers and Association of Teachers and Lecturers amalgamated. The NEU is now the largest education union in Europe, with more than 450,000 members.
According to the GMB, proposed changes at the union will cause “job losses, increases in workload, changes to contracts, downgrading of posts and cuts in pay”.
“We have done everything we can to get management to see sense, but they are forging ahead with their plans to downsize the full time staff of the union at a time when the membership base is growing and the education sector is in crisis,” said Jill Stokoe, GMB branch secretary.
“NEU members need and deserve a fully skilled and well-motivated support service from their union more than ever before.
“These plans have already impacted on our members’ morale and staff are angry; that is why they have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.”
Unite ATL branch secretary Lisa Crivello said: “Our loyal and hardworking staff have devoted a substantial amount of their working lives fighting for the interests of the members they represent.
“Yet we fear the proposed new structures will mean a reduced service for members as staff are being downsized at a time when the membership is growing and the education sector is in crisis.
“Trade union employers should lead by example and it is particularly ironic that we are working for an organisation that treats its own staff in a way it would never accept for its members.”