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Thousands of teachers across Cumbria are set to take strike action next month

THOUSANDS of teachers across Cumbria are set to take strike action next month as part of a national walkout – meaning schools in South Cumbria and Millom are expected to be hit by closures.

The National Union of Teachers has announced its members will take national strike action in England and Wales on March 26. The NUT said it is “in pursuit of the disputes (education secretary) Michael Gove has caused with the profession around pay, pensions and conditions.”

In the run up to the strike the union said it will engage in all talks and encourage its members to leaflet parents and engage with politicians.

The NUT, which has around 3,000 members in Cumbria, is expected to be joined by the NASUWT teaching union. The national executive of the NASUWT meets on Friday and will consider the next phase of industrial action. It is understood more than 5,000 teachers in Cumbria are represented by both unions. The unions had called off strike action planned for the autumn to have more talks with the government. From September the government is set to introduce performance related pay, which has been opposed by the unions.

Alan Rutter, secretary of Cumbria Division of the NUT, said: “We have announced the action now because we feel parents and schools need plenty of notice. This action was scheduled for the autumn but we withdrew it because Mr Gove’s officials approached us for talks. That is all we wanted, sensible talks, but Mr Gove has messed us around and not stuck to promises for proper talks. We don’t want to strike but teachers feel they have to.

“Mr Gove has already attacked pensions and pay, and now he is looking at longer hours and shorter holidays, when the government’s own figures show teachers are working 50 to 60 hours a week minimum, and that is an average throughout the year.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more. They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and those talks will begin shortly.”

Nobody at Cumbria County Council was available for comment.

Have your say

I wonder how many people if given a change of jobs, would actually complain at what teachers strike for.....if you were in their shoes then you would strike too!! I know I would if I was a teacher, it doesn't matter what peoples jobs are, there are always folk who love complaining!!!

Posted by Stinky Pete on 10 February 2014 at 19:40

Teachers have a hard job but another srike is not needed. Teachers get better terms and conditions then other jobs in uk.
A strike is also bad when cumbria schools are below standard. Its about time teachers have a rethink and decide if there in the right career.

Posted by manda on 10 February 2014 at 15:03

View all 7 comments on this article

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