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Teachers to strike in row over pay, pensions and workloads

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Teachers in England are planning to hold a fresh round of strikes over pay, pensions and workloads.

The two main teaching unions, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), said members will walk out in eight areas of England next month as part of a long-running row.

The unions are also threatening a one-day national strike before Christmas.

They said teachers were "angry, frustrated and concerned" by education secretary Michael Gove's education reform plans, accusing him of being "reckless and irresponsible".

 

Under reforms, set to come into effect from this autumn, pay will be linked to performance in the classroom and head teachers will have greater flexibility over salaries.

 

The unions said Gove had refused to "genuinely engage" with the (NUT) and the (NASUWT) to resolve the dispute.

In a speech in London last night Gove condemned the action and said teaching "has never been more attractive, more popular or more rewarding".

He said he would meet teachers' unions "any time, any place, anywhere", but accused their leaders of pursuing strike action for "ideological reasons".

Gove added that "teachers have better pensions than the majority in the public and private sectors".

Strike dates

The union's members in the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and the Eastern region will walk out on October 1.

Those in the North East, London, the South East and the South West will follow on October 17.

There are no strike dates for Wales because the Welsh Government has tried to engage with teachers about their complaints, the NUT and NASUWT added.

Demoralising entire profession

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said industrial action is the last thing teachers want.

"It is a great shame that the education secretary has let things get to this stage," she said.

"With pay pensions and working conditions being systematically attacked and an Education Secretary who refuses to listen or negotiate teachers now however have no other choice.

"Michael Gove has demoralised an entire profession, it is time that he started to listen for the sake of teachers, pupils and education."

The unions have said they will decide on a national strike after the regional strikes in October.