Teachers unions threatrn strike action for Autumn 2013

The two biggest teachers’ unions are threatening strikes in the autumn in England and Wales over workload, cuts, pensions and plans for local pay. They set out grievances on a wide range of issues – including pay and pensions – but they focused on their belief that teachers were being subjected to unfair public attacks from government.

The unions are united in our determination to defend education by protecting teachers.” The NUT leader said: “Occasionally saying we have the best generation of teachers we’ve ever had in no way compensates for the onslaught of attacks and threats to pay, pensions and working conditions.”

Earlier this month, the government submitted proposals for teachers’ pay that would mean far-reaching changes. The submission to the teachers’ pay body – the School Teachers’ Review Body – suggested that pay could be set at a local rather than national level and would be more strongly linked to performance. Such plans – which could be in place by autumn 2013 – were criticised by teachers’ unions and would be likely to become another area of dispute.

In response to the union declaration, the Schools Minister Nick Gibb said he was “disappointed” and surprised at the announcement – as there were already regular opportunities for teachers’ unions to talk to government.