Teachers take strike action across Mansfield and Ashfield

editorial image

Scores of schools across the region were closed this week as teachers staged a 24-hour walk-out.

The two biggest teaching unions, the NUT (National Union of Teachers) and the NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) chose to take industrial action yesterday, Tuesday 1st October, in protest to rising tensions over pay, pensions and Government reforms.

Many schools were forced to close while others ran a reduced timetable with more than 90 per cent of teachers belonging to one of the two unions.

It was at these schools that some teachers took to the picket lines.

At All Saints’ RC School on Mansfield’s Broomhill Lane, science teacher Mark Guy was flying the flag for the NUT.

The school was only open to sixth formers and year 11 pupils.

Having spent eight years at the school, the Mansfield Woodhouse resident spoke to the Chad yesterday morning.

He said: “There’s not many teachers in- I’ve seen about eight from a possible 80, and they are all members of the ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) who are not striking.

“Teachers are just fed-up, there are a lot of dedicated teachers out there who are now thinking ‘is it worth it?’, especially the older ones.

“It’s a terrible picture there are so many skills that would be wasted.

“Pay and pension are big issues- we can’t afford to lose a day’s wage,but it’s about the changes to the educational system.

“How can we give kids an incentive to get on?

“It’s just not showing any respect for education.

“We don’t want to strike at all, I would rather be in the classroom teaching.”

As well as an ongoing dispute over pay, the unions are angry at what they see as unjust Government proposals, which members say would remove the requirement for teachers to be qualified, and performance-related pay.

At Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth, more teachers gathered at the school gates in protest.

They were joined by long-Nottinghamshire secretary for the NUT, Liam Conway, who works at Kirkby College.

He said: “It was not an easy decision, we are delivering a service to kids, we take it seriously and do our best by them.

“Teachers will be judged on performance but who can do that?

“We can’t deliver that service because of the changes and its reached an intolerable level, and teachers are at their wit’s end.

“It’s also a massive disincentive for anyone coming in to teaching.”

Further strikes are planned in the coming months in other parts of the country, although it is unconfirmed if our region will be affected.

Have you been affected by the strikes? If so, email nick.frame@chad.co.uk