23 June 2016
Responding to statements made by the Department for Education following the announcement of the NUT national strike in England schools on 5 July, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The Department for Education is being entirely disingenuous when it says that our action is about levels of pay. The NUT is taking strike action in response to the funding crisis in our schools, which is impacting on teachers’ terms and conditions and children’s education.
“The NUT is also highlighting the complete break-up of our education system into individual academies, which is resulting in a breakdown of teachers’ employment rights.
“Hard fought for entitlements such as sick leave and maternity/paternity rights are under attack. Meanwhile, pay systems are now being decided at school level.
“This is a monumental waste of head teachers’ time. There is absolutely no evidence that this sort of deregulation will lead to higher standards. In fact, it will simply increase local disputes and an ever-increasing teacher shortage.
“Schools urgently need extra funding to meet the additional costs Government has put on them through increased National Insurance and pension payments. This amounts to a 5% charge on the teachers’ pay bill for schools. George Osborne is freezing the cash per pupil he gives to schools, whilst increasing what he takes from them. For every 20 teachers employed, a school has to find an extra teacher salary to give to the Treasury.
“Teachers do not take strike action lightly. It is essential that the Government listens. We need investment in education, not harmful cuts.”
Our earlier statement confirming the strike and ballot result is available here.