From education to employment


NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach

The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union is issuing legal action against the Government over its decision to allow the use of agency workers to cover for striking workers and effectively break strikes.

The NASUWT believes that the new regulations violate fundamental trade union rights, including the right to strike.

The Government’s actions also undermine the long-standing national and international acceptance that agency workers should not be used to replace those on strike, as enshrined in international conventions such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Code of the World Employment Confederation, to which trade bodies representing the employment agencies and businesses, such as the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), are signed up to.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“These regulations seek to further undermine and weaken the rights of all workers, including teachers, to take legitimate industrial action.

“The Government is seeking to prevent workers taking collective action to defend their jobs, pay and working conditions in direct contravention of its international commitments and obligations. The right to strike is enshrined in international law.

“Such a change will have a profound impact on supply teachers, the overwhelming majority of whom are employed and supplied to schools via employment agencies, as well as schools and school leaders.

“If the Government was serious about improving workers’ rights, it would be focused on improving the pay and working conditions of all workers, including agency workers, tackling the cost of living crisis, prohibiting the use of zero hours contracts, and ensuring that agency workers have the rights of all other workers from day one.”

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