NUT to run two ballots for possible strike action from mid-February


The NUT has announced it is to ballot members working in sixth form colleges in England later this month in a dispute over funding and teachers’ pay and conditions.

In a letter sent to members today, NUT general secretary Christine Blower says: “The employers [are] seeking to use the funding situation to impose a pay freeze on teachers which, taking into account inflation, means a real terms cut of more than 5% on top of the threatened cuts in take-home pay resulting from the Government’s pensions proposals.

“Sixth form college teachers’ pay has already begun to fall behind that of school teachers, following a period when the NUT worked successfully to establish and ensure pay comparability between the sectors. The pay freeze in schools provides an opportunity for that comparability to be restored, yet despite previous commitments the employers are seeking to impose a freeze in sixth form colleges too.”

The NUT will run two separate but simultaneous ballots from mid-January.  The ballots are for what the union describes as ‘discontinuous strike action’, with the first day of action likely from mid-February.

The union points to recent research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which it says has exposed Government plans to cut sixth form funding by almost a fifth over the period 2011-12 to 2014-15.

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