Teachers to strike in row over pay
SCHOOLS in Bristol and surrounding areas could be hit by teacher strikes in the autumn.
The two biggest teaching unions have announced a "rolling programme" of strikes, hitting different areas of the country at different times.
The action is being planned as part of a continuing row over pay, pensions and workloads. And it could lead to a national walkout by the end of the year.
The industrial action will start in the summer term, the National Union of Teachers and NASUWT announced yesterday.
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The first strikes would be staged in the North West in June, with other regions following later in the year.
In a joint statement released yesterday, the unions said they had been taking action short of strikes for many months but unless the government responded positively to their demands, "a rolling programme of strike action will continue into the autumn term and will include a one day all-out national strike before the end of the autumn term".
Between them the two unions represent nine out of ten teachers.
Sharon Anderson, divisional secretary of the NUT for the Bristol region, told The Post: "We currently have provisional plans in the pipeline to join a rally with other unions in April, but we may delay this to attend a more full rally in the summer, where we can demonstrate against both pay and workload.
"This issue has been ongoing for a long time and the Government still hasn't met our conditions.
"Many teachers have been asking when a strike will take place – it may be the only way forward."
A Bristol City Council spokeswoman said: "If there is national strike action we would consider working with schools to help keep parents up to date with any closure arrangements."
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "If the industrial action takes place it will affect schools across the country, but the impact will vary depending upon the number of teachers taking part in the strike at each individual school.
"There are more than 1,000 NUT and NASUWT members in South Gloucestershire's schools, so if any industrial action does take place there will inevitably be some disruption. As the first strike action is planned for the North West in late June, and as this is a rolling programme leading up to Christmas, it is unclear when South Gloucestershire schools will be affected.
"The proposed action relates to national issues and, as yet, there have been no local discussions.
"Decisions on closure or the exclusion of selected pupil groups will be taken at school level having regard to the expected number of teachers involved and the practicality or otherwise of providing adequate and safe provision for pupils on that day.
"Schools will make appropriate arrangements to notify parents, carers and pupils of any implications of the strike action when this is known."
No one from North Somerset Council was available for comment.