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Teaching union announces strikes

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 22, 2014

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SCHOOLS across Burton and South Derbyshire face another wave of disruption after a teaching union announced it would strike in the summer.

Members of the National Union of Teachers voted for industrial action at its annual conference, and also to consult on further walk-outs in the autumn.

The news will come as blow to parents, who were forced to make alternative childcare arrangements when the union went on strike only last month.

Union and Government officials have been a loggerheads for months in a long-standing row over pay and conditions.

The union’s executive Anne Lemon told the conference that members needed to send a message ‘loud and clear’ to the Government.

She said: “If we take strike action one day and maybe another one six months later and we don’t make any real progress, we’ve got two choices.

“One choice is that we give up. The second is that we step up; our members are for stepping up.”

Industrial action would take place in the week beginning June 23, when GCSE and A-level exams are due to take place.

But staff needed to supervise the exams would be exempt from striking.

A raft of schools in the region, including The Pingle School, Blessed Robert Sutton Sports College and Hilton Primary School, closed or partially closed last month.

The union claim that changes to teachers’ pay, pensions and working hours are driving candidates away from the profession.

But the Department of Education claimed industrial action would only disrupt parents’ lives and damage teachers’ reputation.

A spokesman said: “We know that the vast majority of our teachers and school leaders are hardworking and dedicated professionals.

“That is why we are giving teachers more freedoms than ever and cutting unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.”

“In fact, teaching has never been more attractive, more popular or more rewarding.

“A record number of top graduates are now applying to become teachers and there have never been more teachers in England’s classrooms.”

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