TEACHERS in East Lancashire are poised to strike later this month.
Members of the National Union of Teachers are preparing to strike on Wednesday, March 26, over ‘intolerable’ workloads, long hours, and fears of a later retirement age.
However local members of the National Association of the Schoolmaster’ Union and of Women Teachers will not be joining in.
Teachers in the NUT across East Lancashire are to meet with other Lancashire colleagues next Tuesday, ahead of the strike action.
The NUT said strike action could still be averted if pre-strike talks with Michael Gove go well.
In contrast, NASUWT, who last year joined the NUT to launch a ‘unified campaign of strikes’, will not be taking part.
Claire Ward who represents East Lancashire’s NASUWT members said strike action was on hold but they remain in dispute.
She said: “It has been deeply disappointing to teachers that the Secretary of State has delayed meetings. However, thanks to the TUC's Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, using her influence, Michael Gove has committed to a series of talks. Teachers will expect the Secretary of State to show that he is seriously committed to building trust and confidence with the profession by demonstrating that he is prepared to listen to and address teachers’ deep concerns.
“NASUWT remain in dispute and, if these concerns are not addressed, we cannot rule out further industrial action in the future."
Simon Jones who represents both Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire’s NUT members said: “The pressures teachers are under are mounting beyond reasonable levels and we will strike to stand up for education.
“Thousands are leaving the profession due to intolerable working lives and this has an irreversable impact on children.
“We will take part in talks but to avoid a strike Michael Gove must show compromise.”
The strike will see Lancashire NUT teachers gather in Preston City Centre from 11.30am for public rallies and speeches.
Teachers are striking over claims the average primary teacher works nearly 60 hours per week. Secondary heads 63 hours and the average secondary teacher is working nearly 56 hours a week. The union wants changes to pensions and is against performance-related pay.