NUT opens ballot over working conditions

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The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is balloting its members for strike action as part of its campaign to protect pay and working conditions.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is balloting its members for strike action as part of its campaign to protect pay and working conditions.

The union already has a mandate from its membership to strike over the cuts to public sector pensions and, if approved, this ballot will give the NUT executive the go-ahead to call strike action and action short of strike action over a wider range of issues.

The ballot opens today (Thursday, June 21) and will close on September 6 and the union’s members in state-funded schools and 6th form colleges in England and Wales are eligible to vote.

It comes weeks after the NUT signed what it called an “historic joint declaration” with the NASUWT in which the two unions agreed to co-ordinate their campaigns over issues such as pensions and teachers’ pay and conditions.

Between them, they represent 85 per cent of teachers in England and Wales. The NASUWT already has a mandate from its members to hold strike action and action short of strike action and has been carrying out a “work to rule” campaign since late last year.

In December, both unions refused to sign up to the government’s final offer on public sector pension reform and remain opposed to the pension changes.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “This ballot follows on from the historic joint declaration with the NASUWT. Our two unions will co-ordinate campaigns to defend teachers and protect education. The profession has never been under such sustained attack from government. The almost daily criticism of teaching standards and erosion of working conditions, pay and pensions are unacceptable. 

“If the ballot is successful it will see joint action by 85 per cent of the teaching profession. Any strike action taken on the new ballot will be held simultaneously with action on pensions.

“As ever we are seeking negotiations with government. However the situation is very serious and we have to build the broadest campaign to send a clear message to government that this cannot continue. Our ballot is intended to secure a fair deal for teachers and education.”


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