NASUWT members take action at Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig in Aberystwyth

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, UK unions, Education

Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig – Welsh schoolTeachers at Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig in Aberystwyth today begin three days’  strike action after a staff member was sacked.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “It is deeply regrettable that the NASUWT and its members have been left with no alternative other than to resort to taking this action. The union has done everything possible to seek to resolve the current dispute.

“We deeply regret any disruption caused to pupils and parents. This is something we have sought to avoid.

“Strike action planned for Friday 9 January was withdrawn on the understanding that a meeting would be arranged to facilitate direct discussions with the local authority before a dismissal notice was issued to one of our members.

“However, rather than meet with the NASUWT, the local authority issued the dismissal letter, informed the school staff that the matter was now closed and apparently has supported the circulation of confidential information to parents.

“This is symptomatic of the appalling manner in which the case of one of our members has been handled and if this goes unchallenged every member of staff in the school, and indeed in every school across the local authority, is at risk.

“Employees are entitled to expect that procedures are followed and applied fairly.

“The NASUWT will now be seeking urgently to meet with senior elected members in the local authority to resolve the issues of concern and to avoid this escalating beyond the school.”

NASUWT national official said: “A way forward, avoiding strike action, could have been found if due process and procedures had been followed correctly.

“Instead the disciplinary process applied to our member is a travesty of the rules of natural justice and the right to fair treatment.

“The NASUWT has offered to meet with the full governing body to explain directly to them why the decisions that have been taken throughout this case have been fundamentally flawed and why the letter of dismissal should be withdrawn and the member reinstated.

“However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the NASUWT’s attempts to resolve these matters through meetings rather than action are currently being blocked.

“The school and the local authority appear to have decided to embark on a process of confrontation rather than conciliation.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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