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Teachers across Gloucester set to strike over Michael Gove's educational reforms

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

strike

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) in Gloucester is set to lead industrial action on Wednesday in disputes over performance-related pay, pension changes and an increasing workload for staff.

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HUNDREDS of teachers across Gloucestershire will strike next week in protest to educational reforms.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is set to lead industrial action on Wednesday in disputes over performance-related pay, pension changes and an increasing workload for staff.

Gloucestershire divisional secretary John Pemberthy said Michael Gove has become the most unpopular education secretary ever for freezing salaries and forcing headteachers to complete “pointless bureaucratic tasks” and work longer hours.

Union members are calling on Gove to negotiate seriously over these concerns if he wants to avoid a national strike next Wednesday.

Mr Pemberthy said: “Our intention is not to disrupt local education, but rather to send a message to Michael Gove that he must not underestimate how unhappy teachers are with what we has done to the education system."

Union members, who are also against schools setting their own salaries, are aware that some people think teachers are paid well, but Mr Pemberthy said they are in comparison to unskilled workers, but not against other highly-trained professionals.

Notices have been sent to county schools to warn about the planned action, and leaflets will be handed to shoppers in Eastgate Street today.

Philip Rush, headteacher at St Peter’s Catholic School and Sixth Form Centre, Stroud Road, said his school will be open as normal.

He does support a number of Government initiatives, including the Pupil Premium, but says it is stressful setting fair teacher salaries.

“Some Government initiatives are very good and well-meant,” he said. “But the performance-related pay is a red herring and it seems good but unless you have a big pot of money to give people, you do end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. The real job of schools is to teach good lessons and I’m not convinced performance-related pay helps me do that.”

Richard Johnson, deputy headteacher at Severn Vale School, Quedgeley, said: “This is a very difficult time of the year for schools and it makes it very difficult to justify certain decisions.”

Jane Lloyd-Davies, head of education performance and intervention at Gloucestershire County Council, said, "It is up to individual schools to ask their staff how they intend to react to instructions from their union. "Schools then need to make a decision about whether they can cover classes and stay open or whether they need to close on the day of any planned strike.”

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7 comments

  • mickeynewport  |  September 13 2014, 12:44AM

    Quite right too! Teachers should make a stance against these reforms, I had to work 250 days last year and were expecting teachers turn up for 195 days, on top of that slave driving till 3.30 every day. I was reading the Daily Telegraph's political editor the other day, and a teacher on £32,000 a year "can retire with a pension equivalent to having built up a private sector pension pot of £500,000 - which is only a measily 20 times higher than the average. Who can live on that these days? Have anyone seen the price of flights and villas? my next door neighbour whose a teacher, had to give up her cleaner, and Ironing lady. Its the dark ages, &god knows hows she going to heat that pool through the winter.

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  • griffin6  |  August 25 2014, 5:01PM

    yes Citon there's no Oxy in you, silly comments

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  • MrGarnet  |  March 26 2014, 9:57PM
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  • MrGarnet  |  March 24 2014, 8:13PM

    Not at all convinced by the NUT posters on here.Do your jobs properly then you may earn support.Teachers have good jobs and need to respect that fact. I would make them all self employed and paid by results.

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  • socialista  |  March 22 2014, 10:10PM

    Other than weekends, parental leave, lunch breaks, overtime pay, pension plans, higher wages and sick pay what exactly have Unions done for us?

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  • EmmaL  |  March 22 2014, 7:16PM

    I fully support and appreciate the strike and why teaching staff are defending their terms and conditions and the standard of education. It is wrong to blame teachers for parents being fined for taking their children out of school during term time as this is not their fault! My children have asked me why some schools will be closed and what it is all about and I've told them it's teaching staff working together to defend their rights -I want my children to be socially aware and to realise they can work with others to change things for the good. That is a valuable part of educating well rounded and confident children.

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  • citon  |  March 22 2014, 3:05PM

    "Socialist Worker"??? Now there's an oxymoron. I trust that the parents will bve able to levy fines against these people for truancy, just the same as they would "fine" parents for taking their children on holiday in term time?

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