Wiltshire teachers back strike strategy
11:00am Friday 22nd March 2013 in Latest News
Teaching unions in Wiltshire say their members back plans for a series of strikes in their row with the Government over changes to pay, pensions and workload.
On Monday, the two largest teaching unions – National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT – announced a series of localised strikes, starting this summer in the North West. No date has yet been set for strikes in Wiltshire.
The unions are protesting against a pension age of 68 or higher and performance-related pay for teachers.
Mike Harrison, secretary of Wiltshire NUT, said raised pension contributions were already affecting teachers.
He said: “The pay proposals drastically alter years of a national pay structure. There’s no evidence to show performance-related pay works.
“Teaching is a collaborative and cooperative profession and it’s very difficult to individualise. There is also increasing concern about workload. Since September, the workload pressure and intense scrutiny teachers are under has increased.
“Our members would support strike action in support of pay and pensions. It’s part of our job to try and persuade parents to support us and I think a lot of them do.
“They understand how hard teachers work on behalf of their children.”
Ian Phillips, the county secretary of NASUWT, said: “The last thing members want to do is strike, but when they are not being listened to by Government there is little option but to take action.
“Do people want an effective teaching force and a profession for people to go into, or do they want a demoralised teaching profession?”
A Department for Educ-ation spokesman said: “We think giving schools the freedom to reward good performance is much fairer than current arrangements, which see the vast majority of teachers automatically getting a pay rise each year.”