Unions instruct members to work to rule from September 26th

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Eighty-five per cent of teachers across England and Wales could take part in industrial action from September 26.

Eighty-five per cent of teachers across England and Wales could take part in industrial action from September 26.

The two biggest teaching unions – the NASUWT and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) – have announced plans for a joint campaign of industrial action as part of their ongoing dispute with the government.

Between them, the two unions represent almost nine out of 10 teachers in England and Wales.

Both unions will issue notices of “action short of strike action” to employers this week which will take effect from Wednesday, September 26 and warned that strike action could follow if the government does not listen to their concerns.

The action is over teachers’ pay, pensions, workload and conditions of service and job losses. 

The unions say that no progress had been made with government towards “addressing the deep concerns of the teaching profession”.

A joint statement said: “The action is intended to be pupil, parent and public friendly, while resisting government policies which are undermining teachers’ ability to work effectively to deliver the highest standards of education.”

The industrial action will see teachers working to rule and refusing to attend meetings outside of school hours, refusing to take cover or lunchtime supervision.

It comes after an NUT strike ballot last week brought the union’s mandate into line with that of the NASUWT – meaning both organisations have a mandate to strike over a wider range of issues, not just pensions.

The NUT’s ballot saw 82.5 per cent vote in favour of strike action and 91.6 per cent back action short of strike action. A total of 228,831 members were balloted with a 27 per cent turnout.

The unions announced their partnership in May to end what they called the “continuing assault on the teaching profession”.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: “The secretary of state was put on notice in May that he could address teachers’ concerns and avoid the possibility of further industrial action. He has recklessly disregarded this warning.”

Her counterpart at the NUT, Christine Blower, said: “Teachers’ morale is dangerously low. Over-the-top accountability measures are exhausting teachers and the idea that they can work to 68 is absurd.

“For the sake of teachers and children’s education, these constant attacks from government need to stop. We urge the secretary of state to begin to listen and to respond to our concerns.”

CAPTION: The NASUWT and NUT both walked out in November last year in the pensions row. Both unions have threatened further industrial action if the government does not listen to its concerns


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