Right to strike? Furious unions slam ‘draconian’ work notices plan

Schools will be able to issue “work notices” ahead of planned strike action requiring certain staff to work as part of proposed minimum service level (MSL) regulations designed to ensure the attendance of priority students.
Image: Adobe Stock

On Tuesday, the Department for Education published a nine-week consultation setting out its plans (DfE, 2023).

The move left education unions furious as talks had been on-going to reach an agreement about what MSLs might look like in practice.

They have now been brought to an abrupt end. The DfE said that they were not making “enough progress” whereas the unions have accused the government of negotiating in bad faith.

The consultation, which will close on January 30, sets out two options:

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill received Royal Assent in July and means the government can set an MSL within specified services, including education, healthcare, fire and rescue, and transport. The prime minister has also said that MSL legislation will be enacted for rail, ambulance and border force workers.

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