Teaching union votes to strike

By politics.co.uk staff

Teachers belonging to the largest teachers' union have voted to strike later this month.

The NASUWT union is taking on pension reforms, pay and conditions and increasing job insecurity.

Only around 40% of teachers voted in the ballot, but of those that did 82% backed strike action and 91% backed action short of a strike.

"The members of the NASUWT have today confirmed that we cannot go on like this," general secretary Chris Keates said.

"They will be leading the way by embarking on a quiet revolution to put quality education first.

"The coalition government needs now to take seriously the concerns voiced by the teachers today. This is a vote that cannot be ignored."

It is not clear whether the union will stage a walkout on November 30th, when the much larger public sector strike against pension changes is set to take place.

Ms Keates said the union would "stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all public service workers", but told the BBC a strike by her members was "not inevitable".

Half of all teachers have seriously considered leaving the profession in the last month.

But ministers, currently engaged in a standoff with union officials over public sector pension changes, are unlikely to be willing to make major concessions.

Yesterday the Unite union released the results of its ballot ahead of November 30th. Three in four Unite members said 'yes' to joining the national day of action.

"On November 30yj, we fully expect millions of public sector workers and their supporters to show their disgust at the government's plans," general secretary Len McCluskey said.

"If the government seriously wants to avert a long dispute and heal the divisions it is causing, it needs to get back round the table with some sensible plans for solving the problems it alone has caused."