NUT seeks new strike

5th September 2008 at 01:00
The National Union of Teachers is on the brink of rolling industrial action

As the economy worsens teachers and support staff are leading the push for a new wave of walk-outs right across the public sector.

National Union of Teachers executive members, meeting today[Friday], hope to approve a timetable for further strikes and stop-work meetings by teachers.

If approved at a ballot of members, this will see the action take place in November.

Next week at the annual Trade Union Congress in Brighton, the NUT will call for coordinated industrial action.

NUT represents nearly 250,000 working teachers and headteachers across the UK, and has 16,500 Welsh members.

It has the support of Unison, which represents 200,000 school support staff, and the Public and Commercial Services Union.

Roger King, the union's Birmingham general secretary, said teachers' financial situation had worsened since the last strike in April.

"We are very angry," he said. "What is happening to the economy is hitting everyone, and year on year, teachers' pay is being eroded."

Dave Harvey, executive member for outer London, expressed confidence that the executive would agree to an October ballot for rolling industrial action.

Teachers were motivated by rising inflation, the Government's refusal to negotiate, and industrial action elsewhere in the public sector, he said.

NUT Cymru secretary David Evans said support among teachers in Wales for the strike in April was very strong, and that the NUT's Welsh members still feel "very strongly" about the pay award.

If members agree, the first of a series of strikes or stop-work meetings would be held in November.

When NUT members went on strike on April 24 this year, 9,500 schools across England and Wales had to shut down partially or completely.

An estimated 2.7 million pupils got the day off school.

In Wales, it was estimated that 600 schools were forced to shut, with hundreds more forced to cancel lessons.

Teachers this month received a pay rise of 2.45 per cent - but retail price index inflation hit five per cent last month, its highest level since July.

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