NUT is encouraging parents and children to come to discussion session about Penzance strike, following this morning’s picket

Tim Lezard
NUT members on strike in Cornwall

NUT members on strike in Cornwall

Teachers in Cornwall taking strike action in a dispute over workloads have been praised by parents at an open meeting held after this morning’s picket.

(Pictured: NUT pickets at Heamoor School today)

Some 30 parents of pupils at the Heamoor Primary school in Penzance came along to the meeting for a chance to discuss with teachers why they were taking strike action.

NUT senior organiser Hannah Packham told UnionNews: “The parents turned up not knowing what to expect because the head teacher had written an unpleasant and quite malicious letter giving misleading information about the strike and about the teachers.

“The teachers – some of whom broke down in tears while explaining about the workload to parents – were really upset by the letter and were grateful so many parents bothered to come along to hear their side of the story.

“The parents know the issues now and are very supportive of our members and their determination to resolve the issue.”

Representatives from the school and the NUT are currently meeting with ACAS to find a way forward, but if talks stall, further strike action is scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday.

South West NUT regional secretary Andy Woolley said: “It is with great regret that we now find ourselves taking further strike action.”

“We are concerned that Cornwall County Council have stated publicly that we have refused to talk about a settlement. This is completely untrue.

“The only meeting to discuss this issue which has been cancelled was pulled out of by the school management.”

The union has invited parents to bring their children to discuss the strike with union reps and officials later this morning.

The NUT has authorised local branches to take strike action in disputes over school workloads.

Heamoor is the only school in the South West where industrial action of this kind is taking place and is just one of a handful across the whole country where a dispute over workloads has escalated to a strike.

Teachers say they will be displaying what they believe to be the only trade union banner to feature the Cornish language, along with Guernsey and Jersey French.

Together with English, these comprise the four ethnic languages in the area covered by the NUT South West Region.

The name of the union in Cornish is Kesunyans Kenedhlek Dyskadoryon and this features on the banner.

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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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