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Teachers to strike over pay, pensions and workload, unions announce

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Teachers in England and Wales are planning a national walkout this autumn in a continuing row over pay, pensions and workload, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT have announced.

In a joint statement, the two unions said a series of localised strikes would begin on 27 June in the north-west of England.

The statement said that, 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".

A spokesman for the Department for Education said it was "very disappointed" the unions had decided to strike.

Both unions have already been taking part in industrial action, short of stoppages, but NUT general secretary Christine Blower insisted they have had no engagement from education secretary Michael Gove over the dispute.

She said: "We have decided we must make an announcement that we will move to strike action in a bid to get the secretary of state to listen seriously, and to seek to achieve a resolution in this dispute."

There will also be a series of rallies in England and Wales, Blower said.

The unions have put a new list of demands to Gove. It calls for him to suspend the introduction of performance-related pay, due to be brought in later this year, and to publish an evaluation of the teachers' pension scheme. The unions also want Gove to "commit to genuine engagement" by setting up a series of meetings to discuss the dispute.

The Department for Education spokesman said: "We are very disappointed the NUT and NASUWT have decided to take strike action, which less than a quarter of teachers actually voted for.

"Industrial action will disrupt pupils' education, hugely inconvenience parents and damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country.

"We think giving schools the freedom to reward good performance is much fairer than current arrangements, which see the vast majority of teachers automatically getting a pay rise each year. We have met frequently with the NUT and NASUWT to discuss their concerns and will continue to do so."

The NASUWT said 40% of its membership voted in an industrial action ballot, in which, 82% voted to strike.

Among NUT members, the turnout was also 27% in which, 82.5% voted for strikes.