The NUT and NASUWT have accused Michael Gove of ‘provocation’ and reiterated plans for a national strike in the next two months.
Teachers raised the prospect of a major national strike today amid claims the Government is refusing to take part in genuine talks designed to resolve a long-running dispute.
The two biggest teaching unions said plans for a countrywide walkout within the next two months remained in place because of “provocation” from Michael Gove, the Education Secretary.
The National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT – collectively represented nine-in-10 teachers in England – had suspended industrial action pending negotiations…
Mr Gove agreed to talks but wrote to both unions last week, insisting that the reforms are “fixed” and any discussion would merely centre around the implementation of reforms.
In a controversial move, he also insisted that all other teaching associations would be involved in the negotiations to ensure that “striking unions do not have any unfair advantage”.
Today, the NUT and NASUWT criticised the response, saying Mr Gove had “resorted to provocation” instead of “seeking genuinely to engage in talks to seek to resolve our disputes”.
In a letter to the Education Secretary, they reiterated the importance of talks exclusively with the two unions. The unions also confirmed that “plans remain in place for a national strike in England and Wales no later than 13 February 2014 in the event of insufficient progress through negotiation”…
Speaking today, a Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We do not understand how the NUT and NASUWT have interpreted an invitation to engage in talks as ‘provocation’. They are refusing to take part in the programme of talks, which they had called for, simply because they are too inclusive. We do not understand how they can reject dialogue just because other organisations which represent teachers will be involved. It is only right and fair that everyone should be represented in talks which could affect the whole of the profession.”
Isn’t this the third national strike planned in as many years? Who thinks the ‘three strikes, you’re out’ rule should apply here. I’m not going to rush to support Michael Gove, because I detest him as much as many others do, but these strikes are beyond ridiculous. Just do the job your paid to do or go find another job. Oh wait … they’ll probably go on strike there as well …