‘Time not right to strike’ says Sunderland headteacher

Head teacher Pauline Wood of Grange Park Primary School, Sunderland.
Head teacher Pauline Wood of Grange Park Primary School, Sunderland.
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ALTHOUGH thousands of public sector workers are striking today others feel the time is not right.

Despite being a member of the NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers), Pauline Wood, pictured, headteacher at Sunderland’s Grange Park Primary School, was at her desk this morning.

The head – who recently travelled to London with the BBC to quiz Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, about the public sector pensions row – said although she fully appreciates the feelings of workers over the proposed changes, she doesn’t feel the time is right to strike.

Mrs Wood said: “I do think the proposal to take money out of our pension pot to pay for other things isn’t right. While I fully understand why people are getting upset and want to do something, I don’t think this is the right way to achieve this.

“I think a lot of people think if they are in a union which has a mandate to strike then they have to strike, but that’s not quite the case.

“The timing is particularly bad, the last day in November means people are going to lose pay as they go into the Christmas and January periods when many people need it most.

“I think if we had waited until January when negotiations had finished and taken it from there, it would have been better.”

Although the headteacher and some of the teaching staff at the Swan Street school were at work today, there were not enough staff members to safely cover classes, so the school had to be closed to pupils.