No strike till Feb 2014 as Gove agrees to meet unions – but is this the right thing to do?

Press release from NUT/NASUWT HQs is below:

A few questions occur:

When did Gove make this offer to meet?

Is this the offer he made to meet in September saying “that he was happy to meet, but his mind was fixed on changes to pay and conditions?”. If so then why pull the strike action set for November? Why not negotiate from a position of strength?
Michael Davern
Joint Secretary

—————————————-

IMMEDIATE

25 OCTOBER 2013

NASUWT AND NUT TRADE DISPUTES WITH SECRETARY OF STATE

The two largest teacher unions, the NASUWT and the NUT, representing nine out of ten teachers, are today confirming the next phase of their jointly coordinated campaign to Protect Teachers and Defend Education.

Following an overwhelming show of support for strike action across England on 27 June and 1 and 17 October, the NUT and NASUWT have welcomed confirmation that the Secretary of State is willing to discuss a basis for genuine talks on the unions’ trade disputes on teachers’ pay, pensions, workload and conditions of service and jobs.

In response to the indication from the Secretary of State that he is willing to engage in talks, the NASUWT and NUT have agreed to:

· suspend the planned national day of strike action which was scheduled to take place in the Autumn 2013 term;

· engage constructively in an agreed programme of talks with the Secretary of State to discuss the unions’ trade disputes

· seek progress in the talks with the Secretary of State;

· review progress of the talks by January 2014.

In the absence of sufficient progress, a national strike in England and Wales will be held not later than 13 February 2014.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The public demonstration of the anger and frustration of teachers and the commitment of members to the action have secured the prospect of talks with the Secretary of State.

“The Secretary of State can be in no doubt about the deep concerns of our members and their resolve to defend their pay, pensions, conditions of service and jobs.

“Our members have no wish to see further disruption in schools and we welcome the fact that the strike action has provided a sufficient impetus for the Secretary of State to agree to establish a basis for genuine dialogue.

“We look forward to securing progress in these talks as quickly as possible.”

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

“The successful regional strikes already undertaken show the strength of teachers’ anger and concerns about the changes being made to their profession.

“We are giving Government the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with us to resolve our on-going dispute on pay, pensions and workload. We have always been available for such negotiations and would have preferred that this was a route the Government had gone down sooner rather than later.

“For the sake of teachers and the future of our children’s education I sincerely hope that the Government takes these talks seriously and we find a speedy resolution to our dispute.

“Failure to do so will leave us with no choice but to take further action as the issues at stake are far too important to be swept to one side. If there has to be national strike action it will be entirely the fault of the Secretary of State, Michael Gove.”

— ends —

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