Teachers from 29 schools in and around Bolton, in education secretary Ruth Kelly’s own constituency, have shown that they are willing to take strike action against New Labour’s education bill.
In a ballot organised by the NUT teachers’ union 92 percent of teachers indicated they were willing to take strike action to defend national pay and conditions of service, and to retain the local authority as school providers – both of which the new bill discourages.
Barry Conway, secretary of Bolton NUT, says, “There is a close connection between national conditions of service and comprehensive education which are both threatened by this bill.
“This vote by Bolton teachers is extremely important. This is the first and only time so far that the people directly affected by these plans have been asked their opinions outside of managed media situations.
“It clearly indicates the depth of concern and opposition there is to the bill. And it also shows that this is not reflected in any effective opposition within parliament.”