The NASUWT teaching union has announced it won’t join a national strike this term to defend teachers.
The news will be a bitter disappointment to teachers who want unions to lead a fight against Tory education secretary Michael Gove.
The NASUWT, along with the NUT union, is in dispute over attacks on teachers’ pay, pensions and conditions.
The NASUWT cited planned meetings with Gove as the reason for not calling a national strike. Yet Gove has made clear that he will not negotiate over the nature of his attacks.
Both unions have held several successful joint regional strikes against the attacks.
The NUT and Welsh teaching union UCAC are set to hold a national strike on 26 March.
Many teachers will be disappointed that the NASUWT won’t be part of the action.
But the planned national teachers’ strike will have an enormous impact.
Teachers in the NUT are calling on their union leaders to make clear that there is a strategy to win this dispute.
The union should name further dates for strikes to pile the pressure on Gove.
The School Teachers’ (Pay) Review Body (STRB) annual report was published last week.
It failed to recommend many changes that Michael Gove wants to impose. And Gove has accepted its recommendations in full.
Nick Grant is a member of the NUT’s national executive committee (NEC). He said the STRB “has effectively snubbed Gove”.
Teachers will continue to have limits on their working hours. They will continue to have guaranteed time for planning, preparation and assessment. And there will continue to be no requirement for teachers to cover for absent workers.
“This is testament to the continuing campaigning by school unions on excessive workload and bullying management,” said Nick.