Teachers in Wales could strike this autumn
TEACHERS in Wales are set to stage a series of strikes in a continuing row over pay pensions and workload.
The two largest teacher unions, NUT and NASUWT, representing 9 out of 10 teachers, have announced the next phase of their joint campaign to “protect teachers and defend education”.
It follows months of members taking industrial action short of striking, such as working to rule.
Representatives said the move followed a failure to resolve a trade dispute with Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews.
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Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, said: “Disruption from the rolling programme of strike action in Wales can be easily avoided if the Minister is prepared to consider seriously our more than reasonable demands.
“The Minister must recognise that teachers’ patience has been tried to the extent that it is now exhausted. They want to see tangible progress towards resolution of our trade dispute.”
The action will include short strikes, rallies across England and Wales in April and May, rolling strike action starting in the North East on June 27.
The unions say that unless Mr Andrews responds positively to the demands they are making to him, the rolling programme of strike action will include action in Wales in the Autumn term.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “We need the Minister in Wales to recognise that unless our reasonable demands are met, strike action is inevitable.
“Some progress on workload had been made but that has stalled. We stand ready to engage with the Minister to make progress towards a positive outcome for teachers and children.”
NASUWT said 40 per cent of its membership voted in the industrial action ballot, of whom 82 per cent voted to strike and 91 per cent to take action short of a strike. Among NUT members, the turnout was 27 per cent, of whom 82.5 per cent voted for strikes.
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We're continuing talks with the NASUWT and NUT and are keen to resolve this dispute.”
England’s Department for Education said it was “very disappointed”.