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Six days of strike action ‘surprises’ school bosses

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 10, 2014

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THE biggest school in Derbyshire has revealed that it looks set to be hit by six days of strike action.

Bosses at John Port School, in Etwall, told the Mail they had been informed via letter by the National Association of School Masters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) that it plans to hold industrial action later this month and in June

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

However, John Port looks set to be the only school in the area that will see strike action, despite unions previously claiming its members would not down tools.

Head teacher Chris Sainsbury (pictured) said: “I will be disappointed if any staff choose to strike without first raising their specific concerns and entering into discussion to resolve any problems.

“Clearly, such action would interrupt the education of students and inconvenience parents and I am confident that, with union co-operation, we can resolve any issues and avoid disruption.”

The strikes are set to take place on:

l Thursday, May 15;

l Wednesday, May 21;

l Thursday, May 22;

l Tuesday, June 3;

l Wednesday, June 4; and

l Thursday, June 5.

A spokesman for the school said: “We were informed by the union that this action ‘is in furtherance of the NASUWT national trade dispute over adverse changes to pensions, workload, conditions of service, including pay and pay progression and job loss.’

“The union has not informed us why it has decided to escalate its ‘national action short of strike action’ at John Port School.

“The school has very good working relationships with its staff representatives. We have written to the NASUWT for clarification about any particular concerns they may have and we have agreed to meet them.

“Clearly, strike action will have an impact on the education of our students. However, the majority of our staff will be in school as usual, which means we will be able to remain open to students in certain year groups.

“All examinations will continue as scheduled.”

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