Teachers to take further strike action

NUT Wigan chapel members during strike in Manchester in June 2013
NUT Wigan chapel members during strike in Manchester in June 2013

TEACHERS in Wigan are set to strike next month after a leading union announced plans for a further walkout over pay, pensions and conditions.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will take the industrial action on Wednesday March 26, union bosses said yesterday.

Wigan branch secretary Max Atkins told the Evening Post that secretary for education Michael Gove “is just not listening to teachers”.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Reassurances were given that Michael Gove would talk about a wide range of matters on implementation of pay and pensions and the direction of travel and implementation of conditions.

“Subsequently, the education secretary has put obstacle after obstacle in the way of talks, showing no serious attempt to resolve - or even to discuss matters in dispute.”

The NUT has staged two previous national strikes since 2011 alongside fellow leading union NASUWT.

NASUWT has not yet announced whether its members will be part of next month’s action.

The ongoing dispute regards proposals for performance related pay and changes to pension structures.

This week reports suggested the Government was considering extending the school day and shortening holidays.

Mr Atkins said: “This would not only affect teachers but thousands of parents and children in Wigan.

“Children do not want to spend 10 hours a day at school, they don’t want to be at school on a Saturday.

“He (Gove) wants to cut back on teaching assistants and supervisors and teachers’ preparation time.

“He thinks teachers are childminders and keeping children in school for those hours will put childminders out of a job. It would have a real effect in Wigan.”