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Up to 5,000 Cumbrian teachers set to strike
UP to 5,000 teachers are expected to go on strike in Cumbria - triggering school closures and massive disruption.
A one-day strike is planned for October 17 as part of a national dispute between two of the biggest teaching unions and the Government over an ‘attack’ on pay, conditions and pensions.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NAS/ UWT), who together represent about 90 per cent of teachers, have confirmed the next two waves of regional strikes as part of their jointly co-ordinated campaign to Protect Teachers and Defend Education.
Cumbrian members are being called to take part in a day of action, also affecting the north east, London, south east and south west regions.
Earlier action will affect the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside regions on October 1.
Plans are also in place for a one-day, all-out national strike before the end of the term.
Cumbria’s NUT secretary Alan Rutter said strikes are ‘an absolute last resort’, and admitted the majority of the county’s schools would be affected.
“It is with great reluctance that we take any sort of industrial action, but everything has boiled up now for a number of years and we are sick of it,” he said.
The two unions said Education Secretary Michael Gove had not met to discuss their concerns following what they see as an attack on the teaching profession by the Government.
It will be up to headteachers to decide what plans are put in place to cope with the impact of the strike.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “It is a great shame that the Education Secretary has let things get to this stage. With pay, pensions and working conditions being systematically attacked, and an Education Secretary who refuses to listen or negotiate, teach-ers now, however, have no other choice.
"Michael Gove has demoralised an entire profession. It is time he started to listen for the sake of teachers, pupils and education.”
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