Tomorrow thousands of teachers will walk out in a nationwide strike called by the National Union of Teachers (NUT). The Rugby Green Party understands and shares the concerns of these teachers who are acting to defend the integrity of their profession and are standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with their fellow workers. This strike action is not the result of an irrational or hostile trade union. It is an action of last resort, taken due to numerous long-standing grievances.
The Education Secretary Michael Gove has severely damaged the relationship between teachers and central government by stubbornly pushing through top-down reforms, failing to take into account the views of those who actually work on the frontline of education. As a result trade unions representing hundreds of thousands of members (including the National Association of Head teachers (NAHT), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the NUT, and the NASUWT) have declared “no confidence” in Gove’s policies, which they say are not in the best interests of children, parents or schools.
The main reasons teachers will be out on strike tomorrow are:
- Excessive workload, with the government’s own research showing that primary school teachers work up to 60 hours
- Excessive bureaucracy which diverts focus from teaching to box-ticking
- Destruction of the national pay framework which shifts the burden of developing a pay framework onto head teachers and governors who should be focusing on teaching and learning
- Unfair pension changes which mean working longer for less
Furthermore, teachers have expressed their frustration with excessive and inappropriate testing of children, the introduction of unqualified teachers, and widely criticized changes to the curriculum.
As the Rugby Green Party’s Trade Union Liason Officer I would like to express solidarity with those striking tomorrow on behalf of the local party.
Information from the NUT on why they are striking:
Declarations of no confidence in Gove from teaching unions:
“Why I am striking” from teacherROAR: