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Relief as school strike plans are finally averted

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 21, 2014

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STRIKE action at Derbyshire’s largest school has been called off following a last-ditch meeting between senior teachers and union officials.

Bosses at John Port School, in Etwall, revealed that eleventh-hour talks with National Association of School Masters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) chiefs saw industrial action scheduled for today and tomorrow called off.

A further three days of action, set to take place next week, have also been suspended, with a meeting planned to discuss a raft of matters that caused the strike announcement in the first place.

Head teacher Chris Sainsbury said: “I am encouraged by the response of the union and I am delighted that no student’s education has been affected.

“I appreciate that parents will have been anxious with the uncertainty, however I am sure they will appreciate the efforts we have all put in to keep the school running as normal.”

The union contacted the school at 1.21pm yesterday to confirm that the strike action was lifted.

The school immediately informed parents by text.

Shockwaves were sent through the school when union officials informed bosses that they were planning to undertake six days of walkouts.

Teachers were set to head behind the picket lines as part of an ongoing row over changes to pensions, pay and working conditions.

However, desperate talks saw the first day of planned action called off.

The situation changed again when union chiefs insisted that the five remaining days of strikes were still on.

This saw a frantic attempt by school officials to get the industrial action suspended, and further meetings with union officials arranged.

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