SWINDON faces a day of disruption next month as a number of unions across several professions are planning strike action.
The country’s biggest teaching union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), has announced it is striking on July 10 to coincide with potential action by local government workers.
Unison, GMB and Unite will be balloting their members over taking action on that day as they are angry at a Government pay offer.
It will be the third action carried out by the NUT since last October and it is likely to cause disruption for parents.
In March, several Swindon schools were forced to close while others were only partially open.
The union is in disagreement with the Government over wages and workloads, saying it is defending the future of the profession.
Andy Woolley, South West regional secretary of NUT, said: “The Government is still failing to make progress on our trade dispute over teachers’ pay, pensions and workload.
“The talks are still only about the implementation of Government policies, not about the fundamental issues we believe to be detrimental to education and the profession.
“For teachers, performance-related pay, working until 68 for a full pension and a heavy workload for 60 hours a week, is unsustainable.
“This action is the responsibility of a Government and Education Secretary who are refusing point blank to accept the damage their reforms are doing to the teaching profession. The consequences of turning teaching into a totally unattractive career choice will most certainly lead to teacher shortages.
“Strike action is a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the disruption it causes parents and pupils. This date has been chosen to cause minimum disruption to examinations.”
The potential strike by local government workers comes after the unions rejected the Government’s offer of a pay increase.
The National Employers’ offer is for increases of between 1.25 and 4.66 per cent for those on the bottom six pay points and one per cent for the remainder of employees, while chief officers have not been offered a pay increase.
Swindon Council offered its workers the same deal and have budgeted for it but it will not be implemented while the union is still in discussions with the Government.
The Government is in dispute with a number of unions over issues such as pay, pensions and reforms to services.
Over the weekend the Fire Brigades’ Union went on strike, the 14th such action in a long-running dispute about proposed changes to pensions. While no more strikes are planned by the union at this stage, no agreement has been reached.
There have also been a number of strike actions by the National Association of Probation Officers who are fighting plans to outsource much of their work to the private sector.