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Teachers Strike Over Pay, Pensions In England

Channels Television  
Updated October 17, 2013

Teachers in England have joined their Nigerian counterparts in embarking on a strike over pay, pensions and jobs thereby closing a plethora of schools across the country.

Teachers in London, Cumbria, the South East, North East and South West are taking part in the one-day strike. The action is part of a continuing campaign of regional strikes involving members of the NUT and NASUWT unions.

The government said the strike would “disrupt parents’ lives” and “hold back children’s education”. Large rallies have been planned for Bristol, London and Durham.

Teachers have objected to proposals by Education Secretary, Michael Gove to bring in performance-related pay, increase their workloads and make changes to their pensions.

‘No other choice’

A similar walkout by teachers took place in the east of England, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber region on 1 October.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said the union regretted the disruption caused to pupils and parents but teachers felt they had “no other choice”.

She said: “Mr Gove has done nothing to address the crisis of low morale in the teaching profession which threatens the continued provision of high quality education.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said the “overwhelming majority of teachers” would be on strike.

She said: “Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly.

“No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils’ education, but this action is not the failure, or due to the unreasonableness, of teachers.”

Plans for a national one-day walkout before Christmas have also been announced by the two unions.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said it was “disappointing” the NUT and NASUWT were taking industrial action.

The spokeswoman said: “All strikes will do is disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession