- From Islington National Union of Teachers
Schools in Islington will be closed next week as members of the large st teacher union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), take national strike action – the strike on Wednesday March 26th is expected to close the vast majority of schools in Islington.
The strike is part of the campaign to protect pay, pensions and to ensure a workload that means children receive the best possible teaching. The strike follows a series of regional strikes in the autumn, which were very well supported and saw teachers getting a lot of support from parents.
Members of the NUT are concerned that government changes will have a damaging effect on education, these include:
- teachers working until they are 68 or beyond,
- increasing pension contributions by 50% and reducing the pension package,
- introducing performance related pay.
Recent figures published by the government show that teachers in primary schools are working 60 hours a week – the NUT believes that this is too much and is one of the reasons why so many young teachers are leaving the profession.
In addition to this strike action the NUT has launched a major campaign, Stand Up for Education, through which teachers are fighting to ensure that:
- every classroom in every school has a qualified teacher
- local authorities can open new schools where needed
- changes to the curriculum and exams are positive and well planned
- new teachers are encouraged into the profession
- schools work together and are properly and equitably funded
The Stand Up for Education campaign has been getting huge support from parents and politicians all over the country who share the NUT’s concerns about government education policy.
Islington NUT Assistant Secretary, Ken Muller, said, “Teacher workload is unsustainable and the thought of doing the job until 68 is driving many away from the job. Teacher morale is at dangerously low levels. Children need teachers who are fresh and well motivated not tired and demoralised.
“All the polls show that Michael Gove is out of touch with teachers and parents – he must listen and change direction. This strike is his fault – teachers do not like taking strike action but they are prepared to lose pay to stand up for education. We do apologise for the inconvenience to parents but we hope they will support us.”