Dispute rumbles on with a strike

13th July 2007 at 01:00
STAFF AT a Denbighshire secondary school were planning a one-day strike yesterday in a lengthy dispute that started over teacher and learning responsibilities (TLRs).

Hundreds of pupils at Denbigh high school were due to have an extra day off as TES Cymru went to press because of the protest by 45 members of teachers' union the NASUWT Cymru.

But the union's representative, Rex Phillips, was not willing to divulge details over new grievances that have arisen. He dismissed as "nonsense" a claim by the school's governing body that they had emerged "at the last hurdle" in negotiations.

"There are wider issues about working practices in the school," he said. "Hopefully we can resolve the situation in the summer recess and there will be no need for further action. But it depends on the governors and local authority and whether they are prepared to engage in meaningful dialogue with us."

Headteacher Alison Duncan gave a statement on behalf of governors, saying they had gone an extra mile to resolve matters.

"This dispute has been prompted by the review of the staff structure required in all schools by national legislation," she said.

"Governors have made several compromises, accepted reasonable arguments from the union and modified their position accordingly. However, at the last hurdle the NASUWT introduced new issues but has not provided the governing body with details to substantiate its assertions.

"It is very disappointing that, after all this, the NASUWT has determined upon industrial action."

A Denbighshire county council spokesman described the strike as "very regrettable", saying there had already been a great deal of negotiation.

Speaking before TES Cymru went to press, he said: "Despite requests from the governors and the LA, the NASUWT has not provided important information to support its strike action or explained why further negotiations can't take place. In view of the planned industrial action, the school will have no option but to close for the day."

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