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Teacher strikes to shut schools
THOUSANDS of teachers are set to go on strike later this year.
In Swindon, about 2,000 members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the NASUWT will take part in strike action.
This is expected to take place in the autumn term, as part of a national row which is over pay, pensions and workload.
It is expected to include about 90 per cent of the teachers in the town, which is likely to mean that schools will close for several days.
Jessica Pearce, regional officer for the NUT South West branch, said: “Schools across Swindon will be affected. “More than 90 per cent of teachers in Swindon are members of the NASUWT or the NUT.
“If the action goes ahead, it is very likely that schools across Swindon will be closed. “We would very much prefer that the action isn’t necessary.
“We really want the Education Secretary, Michael Gove to talk to us and actually be reasonable rather than what he is doing at the moment, which is pushing ahead and ignoring more than 90 per cent of the teaching profession.”
In a joint statement, the two unions announced this week that the first strikes would take place in the North-West of England in June.
They said there would then be a rolling programme of strike action if the Government did not respond positively to their demands.
Rallies are likely to be held, but it is not yet known whether one will take place in Swindon.
Peter Smith, secretary of the Swindon division of the NUT, who is a science teacher at Churchfields Academy, said: “When we have had meetings about the Government’s intentions, people are clear they are very angry about it and prepared to take action.
“All the evidence is that the Government take the mickey. “What they say are negotatiations are just stringing people along while they carry on making changes.
“Changes to our pay structure are planned to take place from September this year.
“What everybody in schools is hoping is that Michael Gove will see sense and change these plans. “It looks like they are on a collision course with schools, which has been chosen by the Government.”