From education to employment

Prime Minister must intervene to avoid industrial action by teachers

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The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has called on the Prime Minister to intervene to find a resolution to the current dispute on teachers’ pay, workload and working time.

As the NASUWT’s ballot of state funded school members in England opens, the Union has written to Rishi Sunak calling on him to intervene following the refusal of the Secretary of State for Education to enter into any further negotiations or dialogue with teacher and school leader unions.

The NASUWT’s industrial action ballot for state-funded schools in England opens today (5 June) and closes on July 10. A ballot of sixth form college members opened last month and will close on June 12.

The ballots are the result of the failure of the Government to agree the NASUWT’s demand for a fully-funded restorative pay award for all teachers employed in state-funded schools and sixth form colleges in England, and to resolve the issue of excessive workload and long working hours.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“Throughout this dispute we have been clear with the Secretary of State that we are willing to engage anytime, anyplace and anywhere to discuss the issues of pay, workload and working time and to try to find a resolution to this dispute. However, it has now been many months since the Minister last engaged with us and as a result of her silence and refusal to talk we have been left with no other option than to ballot for industrial action.

“It is a dereliction of duty for the Secretary of State to withdraw from any efforts to resolve this now long-running dispute. We have an escalating recruitment and retention crisis in teaching and school leadership as a result of the year-on-year erosion of pay and spiralling workloads and working hours. This is having a direct impact on the quality of children’s education.

“If the Secretary of State is not willing or able to engage with us, then it is incumbent on the Prime Minister to intervene to find a resolution that will address the mounting crisis in the profession and which enables us to avoid industrial action and the inevitable disruption that will bring to schools and colleges in the autumn term.” 

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