Education secretary Michael Gove has sent a provocative letter to the NUT and NASUWT teaching unions, which are in dispute over attacks on pay, pensions and conditions.
Union leaders retreated from plans to hold a national strike this year. They say they will call a national strike by 13 February next year if no progress is made.
This retreat has encouraged Gove to go on the offensive. His letter reiterates that any talks will only discuss the implementation of attacks. “The direction of policy on pay and pensions is fixed,” he confirmed.
And other unions not in dispute—and non-union group Edapt—will be invited to the talks “as equal participants”. This particularly antagonistic move will rightly infuriate many teachers.
NUT national executive committee member Nick Grant told Socialist Worker, “Members will see that nothing has been gained by postponing strikes. These should now be called early next year.”