NUT/NASUWT response to Gove’s letter ……

NUT and NASUWT trade disputes – press release

14 November 2013

NUT and NASUWT trade disputes

In response to the letter from the Secretary of State on the 14 November, in which Michael Gove attempts to portray the NUT and NASUWT as being unwilling to enter into talks, the NUT and the NASUWT have responded criticising the Education Secretary for his game-playing. Such tactics do a grave disservice to children and young people and the education service. Teachers will be shocked at the cavalier attitude that he is taking to what are serious issues for the profession.

Both unions have reasserted their commitment to taking part in meaningful talks genuinely to resolve our trade disputes. We urge the Secretary of State to do the same.

Should Michael Gove fail genuinely to engage to resolve the issues under dispute the NUT and NASUWT will have no other choice but to move to national strike in England and Wales no later than 13 February 2014.

We sincerely hope it will not come to this. Our commitment to genuine dialogue remains. We therefore once again urge the Secretary of State to take advantage of the window of opportunity we have provided to him by postponing further strike action this term. The ball is now firmly in his court.

The text of the letter to the Secretary of State follows.

Letter to Michael Gove

Dear Michael,

With reference to your letter of 14 November 2013.

You are mistaken about the attitude of our unions with regard to engagement in talks and we regret that you are deliberately seeking to misrepresent our position.

The NASUWT and the NUT are genuinely seeking to resolve our trade disputes and are seriously dismayed by game-playing by the office of the Secretary of State.

In our letter to you, we said: “As you know, both the NASUWT and the NUT have been and remain committed to engaging in meetings as appropriate with your Department and with other organisations on matters of mutual interest.”

We are and have always been prepared to attend meetings called by the Department on matters affecting the pay, pensions and working conditions of our members. However, that is not the same as meeting to resolve a trade dispute and is less likely to avoid further strike action than meetings set up between us specifically to discuss the substance of our disputes.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Keates Christine Blower
General Secretary General Secretary

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