From education to employment


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The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has succeeded in winning its legal action against the Government over its unlawful decision to allow the use of agency workers to cover for striking workers.

The High Court has ruled that the legislation, which allows employers to use agency workers to replace those on strike, was unlawful, unfair and irrational.

The judgment quashes this strike-breaking legislation, removing it from the statute books. The previous protection for striking workers has been restored.

The NASUWT believes that the regulations violate fundamental trade union rights, including the right to strike, and launched a subsequent legal challenge with the High Court in September 2022. 

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“This victory is a vital one which upholds the basic rights of teachers and all working people. The Government’s regulations sought to undermine and weaken the rights of all workers, including teachers, to take legitimate industrial action.

“The right to strike is enshrined in international law, yet the Government has attempted to use the law to prevent teachers and other workers taking collective action to defend their jobs, pay and working conditions. 

“We have always believed that the legislation is a direct contravention of the Government’s international commitments and obligations and the High Court has now agreed with us, deeming this anti-trade union legislation to be unlawful.

“Rather than seeking to abuse its powers to erode the rights of workers, the Government should be focused on improving the pay and working conditions of all workers, including agency workers, tackling the cost of living crisis, and ensuring that supply teachers have the same protections and rights afforded to all other teachers from day one.”

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