NUT members vote “Yes” to strike action as ATL members ballot for action themselves
NUT members in sixth form colleges have voted to take strike action in opposition to government funding cuts and cuts in teachers’ pay and conditions.
Meanwhile, ATL members are to be balloted over discontinuous strikes. If they return a “Yes” vote, any action would be co-ordinated with the NUT.
The NUT says the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove is pressing employers to increase class sizes and working hours and to freeze teachers’ pay despite commitments made during a 2010 pay agreement.
According to the NUT, cuts to college budgets, which come on top of axing the Education Maintenance Allowance and an increase in tuition fees, will be seen as yet a further attack on the expectations of young people.
NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Sixth Form Colleges do an excellent job for the young people who attend them. Cuts to the funding for these institutions are having a devastating effect. Restoring their funding and reversing the increases in class sizes and cuts to teachers’ pay are essential or standards are bound to suffer”.
The union will be deciding on the initial date of strike action in the next few days.
ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “Our sixth form members are annoyed and frustrated at the way they are being treated and said they want to be balloted to strike. We all recognise the funding constraints facing sixth form colleges, and know that school teachers are in a two-year pay freeze, but members working in colleges are being paid less than those teaching the same subjects in schools. It is a ridiculous and untenable situation.
“The refusal by Sixth Form College Forum to offer any pay increase risks demoralising staff and will lead to problems retaining and recruiting staff. ATL members are realistic, they are not asking for the moon, but they do expect to be treated fairly.”
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