Schools could be closed later this year after the NUT voted to ballot its members on strike action over school funding cuts.
The union’s annual conference in Harrogate heard that funding cuts currently faced by schools and colleges, which could be exacerbated by increases in National Insurance and pensions costs, would damage pupils’ education, lead to job losses and hit teachers’ pay, pensions and workload.
An amendment calling for strike and non-strike action, should the next government not address the union’s concerns by the autumn statement, was overwhelmingly backed by members.
But counter-proposals calling for a “calendar of escalating national strike action”, as well as public campaigning inspired by the Chicago teacher strikes of 2012, was voted down. A card count took place yesterday after a show of hands among delegates was too close to call, but it was announced this morning that the amendment had been defeated.
After the result was announced, general secretary Christine Blower said: “Teachers and students have been hit hard by the cuts. Teachers have seen job losses, worsening working conditions and restrictions on pay progression.
“Many serving teachers have been driven out of the profession, and many potential recruits to teaching lost.
“NUT conference has called for the teacher unions to work together to defend education. With pupil numbers up and with schools facing additional costs due to increases in employer National Insurance and pensions costs, the NUT is calling for all political parties to commit to investing to provide the additional school places we need and to protect education spending.”
Jobs at risk as schools face ‘financial disaster’ – 20 March 2015