CHEADLE TEACHERS TO STRIKE

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at the Together Trust (Ashcroft School and Ashcroft College) in Cheadle will be taking the first of six planned days of strike action tomorrow (Tuesday 26 February).

This action is as a result of adverse changes which have been made to teachers’ pay and conditions of service and the refusal of the employer to recognise trade unions.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Teachers at the Together Trust are dedicated professionals; committed to the pupils they teach.

“Unfortunately, their dedication and commitment, has not prevented their Employer from making adverse changes to their pay and conditions, leaving them with no choice but to take strike action.

“Teachers’ working conditions are inextricably linked to the provision of high quality education for pupils.

“The Trust has removed teachers from the national terms and conditions of service which were introduced to raise standards of education.

“In addition, the Trust has made changes to the staffing structure which has had further adverse impacts on terms and conditions of service, including pay.

“Teachers at the Trust are now paid less that their colleagues in other schools, despite their specialist skills and experience.

“Cutting teachers’ pay, worsening their working conditions will impact not just on the teachers but also on the provision of education for pupils across the Trust.

“Retention and recruitment of teachers will be badly affected.

“Strike action is always a last resort for teachers.

“The NASUWT members very much regret any disruption this action will cause to pupils and parents, but a stand must be made against such unnecessary and unreasonable actions by their Employer.”

Rachel Knight, NASUWT National Executive Member for Cheshire, said:

“The NASUWT has had several meetings with the Trust in an effort to address the concerns and avoid strike action. We suspended planned action in December and January on the understanding that the Trust would engage with us through ACAS to seek a resolution to the dispute.

“An agreement was reached but regrettably the Trust has reneged on it.

“We urge the Employer to recognise the depth of teachers’ concern about the way in which they are being treated and to agree to work constructively with the NASUWT to address the issues so further strike action can be avoided.”

SCHOOLS FAILING TO PROMOTE LGBTI EQUALITY AND CHALLENGE PREJUDICE

Too many schools are still failing to educate pupils about same sex relationships and promote LGBTI equality and inclusiveness, teachers have told the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union.

Teachers attending the Union’s LGBTI Teachers’ Consultation Conference today (Saturday) in Birmingham raised concerns that many schools are still failing to tackle homo/bi/transphobia.

A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Only 32% said that their school includes same sex relationships as part of its teaching about relationships and families;
  • 56% said they had witnessed some backlash from either pupils, parents or colleagues when their school tried to teach pupils about LGBTI relationships & equality;
  • 41% said they feel their school does not take tackling homo/bi/transphobia seriously.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Schools have a very important role to play in promoting LGBTI equality, which starts with ensuring the curriculum is inclusive and that a strong message is sent to the whole school community that homo/bi or transphobic abuse or bullying will not be tolerated.

“Schools should be safe environments where staff and students of all sexual and gender identities feel included and respected. Where LGBTI equality is not mainstreamed into the work of a school this is unlikely be to the case.

“We need greater support for schools in taking forward this work and action where schools do not promote a culture of inclusiveness.”