Teachers say they are striking for pupils not pay

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Union officials say they are taking stike action for the sake of pupils and not for pay.

The National Union of Teachers announced last week members had voted to strike on Tuesday, July 5.

We are defending the rights of children to be taught by a qualified teacher

Stephanie Green

Stephanie Green, divisional secretary of the Sunderland NUT, said their members would be among those taking strike action on that day.

She said: “We are defending the rights of children to be taught by a qualified teacher and to raise serious concerns about the impact of funding cuts to schools.

“We anticipate full support of strike action in the area and nationally.”

News of the strike action brought a mixed response from Wearsiders with people speaking out both for and against the decision on the Echo’s facebook page.

David Metcalf, commented: “Good for the teachers, I hope they get what they deserve.”

And, Craig Hardy, said: “Good luck to them they got my support.”

However, some were critical, including Chris Parry, who commented: “Hope the schools get bills for childcare from all the working parents. What did strikes ever achieve?”

And, Michelle Sarah Louise Batey, said: “Can’t take ya kids out of school without a fight but they can disrupt a whole schools day of education. Double standards strikes again.”

Following the announcememt from the NUT, the Department for Education said it was disappointed the union has decided to take “unnecessary and damaging” strike action.

A spokesman said: “Industrial action causes disruption to children’s education and parents who have to take time out of work to arrange childcare. We urge the NUT not to proceed with this strike and to resolve pay disputes at the negotiating table rather than playing politics with children’s futures.”

However, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The Department for Education is being entirely disingenuous when it says that our action is about levels of pay.

“The NUT is taking strike action in response to the funding crisis in our schools, which is impacting on teachers’ terms and conditions and children’s education.

“The NUT is also highlighting the complete break-up of our education system into individual academies, which is resulting in a breakdown of teachers’ employment rights.

“Schools urgently need extra funding to meet the additional costs Government has put on them through increased National Insurance and pension payments.

“Teachers do not take strike action lightly. It is essential that the Government listens. We need investment in education, not harmful cuts.”