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Schools start to plan for potential strike action

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

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SCHOOLS across Burton and South Derbyshire are currently drawing up contingency plans in a bid to minimise disruption ahead of a national teachers’ strike.

Teachers from dozens of sites look set to down tools in a long-running row over pay, pensions and conditions on March 26.

Teaching unions and Education Secretary Michael Gove are at loggerheads over education reforms, including new performance-related pay structures and a reduced pension package.

A spokesman for John Port School, in Etwall, said: “The teachers’ Trade Unions National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) are in a continuing dispute with the Department for Education. There is a possibility of strike action on March 26.

“In the event of a strike the school may have to close, if there are insufficient staff to run the school safely.

“The school gets one week’s notice of action and we will provide more information as soon as we get it.”

The NUT Midlands Regional Secretary Kit Armstrong said: “Michael Gove has refused to address our ongoing pay terms and conditions of service. He is dismantling the pay structure for teachers which will create problems of recruitment in the future.”

The strike would affect every school in Derbyshire and Staffordshire if there is no resolution to the dispute.

A spokesman for the Department for Education 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 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.”

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