Union announces fresh teaching strike in March

The NUT's Mark Sandell, left, and Jack Tyler, right, during October's industrial action
The NUT's Mark Sandell, left, and Jack Tyler, right, during October's industrial action

TEACHERS across the country are set to strike on March 26 in a continuing dispute over pay.

A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council said it would not comment on the rationale behind the industrial action by the National Union of Teachers.

Fellow teaching union NASUWT is yet to decide if it will join the NUT on strike.

“This is a national dispute between the government and teaching unions over which we have no local control,” she said.

“Decisions about whether to close a school for the day are for individual head teachers and governing bodies to take.

“If a school remains open the head teacher and governing body will need to check they have appropriate staffing arrangements in place in order to ensure the safety of pupils.

“West Sussex County Council naturally wished strike action could be avoided, as we recognise that parents will be inconvenienced.

“Details of any school closures or partial closures will be posted on the county council website nearer the time, as well as individual school websites.”

If the strikes goes ahead, it will be the third strike since members were balloted in 2011.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “Michael Gove’s persistent refusals to address our ongoing dispute over pay, pensions and conditions of service, is unnecessary and deeply damaging.

“As a result, thousands of good, experienced teachers are leaving or considering leaving the job and a teacher shortage crisis is looming with two in five teachers leaving the profession in their first five years.”

She added: “Strike action is always a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the fact that we have been put in a position whereby we have no alternative. The strike action can of course be called off.

“For this to happen, the secretary of state needs to give reassurances that he will not go ahead with any changes which worsen teachers’ working conditions.”