Tomorrow’s planned strike by teaching staff in sixth-form college sector will go ahead, after a legal challenge by the government failed today.
The Department for Education argued that the action, for which almost nine in 10 members of the NUT union voted in a ballot last month, was unlawful, as it was based on political grounds, rather than a trade dispute about the terms and conditions of members.
However, the NUT, led by general secretary Christine Blower (pictured), has announced today the challenge in the High Court had failed, and strike action willgo ahead as planned. Deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said the decision was a “victory for democracy and common sense”.
He added it was clear that government cuts to sixth-form college funding were having a direct impact on members’ terms and conditions.
“It is regrettable that the government has not attempted to resolve the dispute," he added. "No-one wants to take strike action but this is a serious issue that is getting increasingly worse. The NUT has been left with no option but to raise awareness of the problem through industrial action. Nicky Morgan’s challenge to the legitimacy of our strike action has just made that job easier.”
In response to the court ruling, a DfE spokesman said the NUT was “seeking to disrupt the education of thousands of students and damage the reputation of the profession”. “We are disappointed with the court’s decision and are considering our options,” he added.