Monday, 30 September 2013

Why teachers are on strike on October 1

Teachers will be going on strike tomorrow right across the Midlands, Yorkshire and the East of England in the second of the three NUT/NASUWT regional strikes in our dispute to defend pay, pensions, conditions - and education.
Reports from NUT branches in Yorkshire show how well the strike is going to be supported:
  • Kirklees NUT reports 24 schools fully closed, 2 partially open (for y11 mock exams only), just 3 open (2 academies and a free school.
  • Of 120 schools reporting to Leeds Council, 70 will be wholly closed, 38 partially closed (usually just Y13 and/or Y11) and just 12 open - so about a 90% closure rate 
  • Calderdale reports 86% of secondaries totally closed, all the rest at least partially closed. 50% of primaries are totally closed, 21% partially closed.
  • Wakefield NUT reports a closure rate of 88% across over one hundred schools that they have contacted.
Here's a message from a Coventry teacher to parents about tomorrow's strike:

To all the parents out there I thought you would appreciate some reasons why you are having to take a day off work or pay for extra childcare tomorrow. No teacher takes strike action lightly but the severity of the government's attacks means we must act.

 Here are just 10 reasons why we are striking:
1. Because our working conditions are also children’s learning conditions. Undervalued, demotivated and stressed teachers cannot be good for children. 
2. Because we will lose many, many times more in pay, pension entitlements and health if the attacks on teacher rights go through unchallenged and unchanged than we would ever lose through taking strike action.
3. To oppose the Government’s plans to increase the length of the school day, reduce holidays for children and teachers and worsen working conditions.
4. To protest at continuing plans to require teachers to work until we drop for a worse pension and to stop further contribution increases. A third increase is due from April 2014. And we are now expected to work until we are 68!

5. To force the Secretary of State to reinstate national pay scales and agree a fair pay system which will motivate and retain teachers in the classroom.
6. To stop further cuts in the value of our pay. It’s more than 10 years since teachers had a cost of living pay rise.
To stop the devaluing of the teaching profession. Schools are now free to employ unqualified people instead of qualified teachers to teach pupils.

8. Because all other attempts to resolve our dispute via dialogue have been rebuffed by an arrogant Secretary of State who refuses to listen to teachers. 
9.  Because action works even when it does not win outright. Tens of thousands of teachers have had their pension rights protected as a result of the pensions action already. Compared to the original proposals the Government has put an additional 8% into their planned spending on pensions. This will be worth more to every member for every year of retirement than any conceivable loss of pay through action. 
10.  Because 50% of all those who enter teacher training courses are not in the classroom within 5 years. A school system that produces that reaction from its young teachers is not fit for purpose and we, as a profession, know it. We have a collective duty to do something about it.

Thanks for your support !

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