Hundreds of teachers in Northamptonshire could go on strike this autumn as part of an escalation of action against Education Secretary Michael Gove’s plans to reform pay and pensions.
The two largest teacher unions, NUT and NASUWT, representing nine out of 10 teachers, have today announced a jointly coordinated campaign of action which involves a rolling programme of national strikes later this year.
The unions have said the Protect Teachers and Defend Education campaign, which will also include a series of national rallies and work to rule, will continue throughout the year “unless the Secretary of State responds positively to the unions’ demands.”
Gordon White, county secretary for the NUT, said: “Teaching unions locally will be discussing how they will take this forward and start building for any possible strike action.
“The rolling programme of strikes is starting in the north-west in June so any strike action in Northamptonshire will take place in the autumn term.”
Mr White said morale of teachers in the county was “awful” due to the amount of changes the Government was making to pay and conditions.
He said: “People are getting on with the job but all the time they are being sniped at by the national government which is criticising schools.
“Schools are being hived off into becoming academies and teachers are feeling constantly under the cosh.
“Morale can’t possibly be high in these circumstances.”
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said the “time had come for the Secretary of State to listen to the concerns of teachers and school leaders.”
She said: “He has recklessly pursued a relentless attack on the profession and teachers’ patience has been exhausted.
“The Secretary of State still has time to avoid widespread disruption in schools by responding positively and quickly to the reasonable demands we are making.”