THE two largest teachers’ unions, the NASUWT and the NUT, representing nine out of ten teachers, yesterday announced two more regional strikes, rallies and plans for a one-day national strike before Christmas.
At a press conference at the TUC’s Congress House in central London, the unions’ general secretaries Chris Keates and Christine Blower announced the actions as the next phase of their jointly coordinated campaign to Protect Teachers and Defend Education.
The unions said: ‘Following the continued refusal of the Secretary of State to genuinely engage with the NUT and the NASUWT to seek to resolve our trade disputes with him, plans are in place for the next stage of industrial action, which will include:
‘1st October – strike action in the Eastern, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside regions;
‘17th October – strike action in North East, London, South East and South West regions.
‘On the strike days, teachers will be attending a series of regional rallies to demonstrate their anger, frustration and concern.
‘This action follows the successful strike action taken in the North West of England on the 27 June in which thousands of teachers took part.
‘Plans are also in place for a one-day, all-out national strike before the end of the Autumn term.’
There will be rallies in London and Nottingham on September 14, and in Cambridge and Exeter on September 21.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: ‘Responsibility for this action lies with the Secretary of State, who has failed to respond to our concerns. He has made no attempt to seriously engage with us.
‘He has gone from platform to platform denouncing strike action. His megaphone diplomacy is reckless and disgraceful.’
NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: ‘With pay, pensions and working conditions being systematically attacked and an Education Secretary who refuses to listen or negotiate, teachers now, however, have no other choice.’
Keates added: ‘I have never seen a Secretary of State quite so arrogant and dismissive.’