Hundreds of teachers in Nottingham are to be balloted on what the city council says is its ‘final offer’ after 9-month dispute

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Hundreds of teachers in Nottingham are to be balloted on what the city council says is its ‘final offer’ on new arrangements for school holidays which triggered 3 days of strike action earlier this year.

(Pictured: NUT members on strike, Nottingham. March 2012)

Following protracted negotiations with the NUT in the city, councillors have abandoned plans to switch to a 5-term school year.

Instead, they have proposed a traditional cycle of three terms each year, but have insisted on a shorter summer holiday.

A NUT official said: “They’ve conceded so much, they seem to be hanging onto the idea of a shorter summer holiday just to save face, rather than out of good sense.

“However, we understand this is their final offer and there is nothing more to negotiate. So we’ll put this to the members to decide.”

The union has a mandate for a further six days of strike action, which were suspended to allow negotiations to proceed.

The NUT and NASUWT in the city are also participating in the joint national campaign of action short of a strike in the dispute over pay and teachers’ workloads.

Under the proposal, the council says the timetable for summer holidays in the next 3 years will be: 5 weeks+1 day, followed by 5 weeks+2days, then 5 weeks+1 day the year after.

Union negotiators say this still falls short of what the NUT’s 800 members in the city want.

In addition, the proposed holiday arrangements do not match those of neighbouring local authorities. The NUT says this is likely to create problems with childcare for parents and staff as well as make it more difficult to recruit and retain teachers in the city.

Officials are making no recommendation to members on whether to accept or reject the offer.

The council claimed the 5-term year term would mean better continuity for pupils.

The NUT said there was no evidence for this and the plans would conflict with the school timetables of every other local authority in England.


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