Leeds schools to be hit by strike

TEACHERS IN Leeds will take part in a national 24-hour strike today in a long-running dispute with the Government over school funding.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 11:22 pm
Members of the National Union of Teachers are taking action today across the country. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will join a rally and march after voting by more than 9-1 in favour of industrial action.

The union said its demands are to increase funding to schools and education, guarantee terms and conditions in all types of schools for teachers, and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workload to be addressed.

The union has written to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan calling for “meaningful” discussions to tackle these issues.

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There will be a rally taking place in Leeds this morning. People are asked to meet at Victoria Gardens from 10.30am for a march starting at 11am.

The Leeds branch of the union said in a statement: “The Conservative Government’s promise to maintain school funding per pupil in cash terms during this Parliament will lead to real terms cuts in schools.

“The impact of inflation, and extra costs such as higher employer NI and pension contributions, means the actual value of funding per pupil in real terms will fall by as much as eight per cent or more.”

Acting general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “The NUT is aware that strike action can be disruptive to parents and carers and for that we wholeheartedly apologise. Equally, teachers do not take strike action lightly.”

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wrote to the NUT last week urging them not to strike. In the letter she said: “To suggest we aren’t prioritising school funding is disingenuous.

“The significance we place on education is demonstrated by the fact that we are investing more than any previous government in our schools.”