Teachers’ union says they will go on strike over pay

Mary Ryan, a schoolteacher at All Saints Catholic primary school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, said she is not obliged to complete her job and parental interviews will now be discontinued. The NECB announced that teachers from…

Teachers' union says they will go on strike over pay

Mary Ryan, a schoolteacher at All Saints Catholic primary school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, said she is not obliged to complete her job and parental interviews will now be discontinued.

The NECB announced that teachers from eight schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme have voted unanimously to take industrial action in protest at cuts to their pay and conditions made by the Francis Salter Trust.

The trust is now in special measures. In an independent review it was recommended that it be dissolved.

Teachers are still likely to receive their bonuses for the 2018-19 year, but they will receive no new contracts. This means they will be working with no employer in place.

Susan Rowe, a primary school teacher from Providence Catholic primary school, said that as a Catholic she has no recourse other than to go on strike and take industrial action. She also plans to move her children to a different school.

“I have tried to negotiate with the trust for almost a year and I am on strike now and I am willing to take industrial action until I get there,” said Rowe.

She said that the term ended on 28 September 2018 and teachers already had a notice of termination – the trust is just phasing the termination process in until the end of this month.

“The Trust have said that no termination will take place unless teachers complete a two-page list of tasks. I was asked to submit a form in November that has not yet been received by the Trust,” said Rowe.

Others indicated they would now be taking pay cuts when they retired. Rowe said: “The Trust is making all schools look at cut measures, including cutting teachers’ pensions and reducing their terms and conditions.”

Teachers from schools in the Ffos Las and Goathland area of Newcastle-under-Lyme have also voted unanimously to take action. A spokesperson from the union said a meeting in Goathland on Monday showed that most teachers are prepared to go on strike if it means they will receive pay rises.

Kate Fitzgerald, a primary school teacher from Primrose primary school, said the trust is behaving like an employer like they own the schools and they can control what is delivered.

She said the trust is talking a lot about less classroom time, less pastoral care for children, turning away children when they need it, turning away children if there is too much maintenance work, but they are looking after their own organisation.

Rowe, from Providence primary school, said: “We’re all fed up with being treated as a rent-a-workforce because we’re not a living wage job. They’re sending people away who have a job and want to keep that job. We’re trying to be professional. We’re professional Catholic teachers.”

NECB has been contacted for a response to this story.

Leave a Comment