British teachers strike over pay and pensions

Dispute over pay, pensions and workloads has resulted in 2,500 schools being closed on Tuesday

British teachers strike over pay and pensions

World Bulletin/News Desk

Thousands of schools across England are closed on Tuesday as the UK’s two largest teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT, go on a regional strike.

The dispute over pay, pensions and workloads has resulted in 2,500 schools being closed on Tuesday.

The teachers are angry about changes that will be brought in this autumn to their pensions, increased workloads and government plans to bring in performance related pay.

“There needs to be a change in the government's attitude towards teachers and education. We cannot stand by and watch our profession be systematically attacked and undermined,” NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT  said, "Strike action is a last resort, teachers have been left with no choice but to demonstrate their anger and frustration in the face of their genuine concerns being dismissed and trivialised."

"Teachers of course deeply regret any disruption to children and families. Such action would have been unnecessary had the secretary of state been prepared to engage in genuine discussions," Keates added.

A Department of Education spokesperson said, "It is disappointing that the NUT and NASUWT are striking over the Government's measures to allow heads to pay good teachers more. In a recent poll, 61 percent of respondents supported linking teachers' pay to performance and 70 percent either opposed the strikes or believed that teachers should not be allowed to strike at all."

"All strikes do is disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."

Many working parents have been forced to take emergency childcare because the schools are closed.  A further regional strike is planned in London, and other parts of the country on October 17.

The two unions have also announced plans for a national one-day walkout before Christmas.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ekim 2013, 16:03

Muhammed Öylek