UK: campaigning to defend education and protect teachers

published 7 March 2014 updated 10 March 2014

NUT – the National Union of Teachers in the UK is preparing its action of last resort in the framework of the campaign “Stand up for education”. After having engaged in talks with parents and public, in pressures to the politicians, NUT has called for a day of national strike to defend teacher pay and conditions on 26 March.

Against the background of rampant privatisations with a downward pressure on workers’ pay and conditions, leading to an erosion of workers’ rights in the pursuit of a more affordable and profitable business model, NUT is campaigning to defend teachers’ dignity and their fundamental role in society. The government’s refusal to listen to union proposals is eventually leading to the day of strike throughout the country on March, 26. On that day NUT will stand against intolerable levels of teachers’ workload or their unacceptable long working hours, the implementation of performance related pay and the increases to pension contributions or to even longer career paths to reach retirement age. Requests from the union of teachers are in line with the IE/ETUCE initiative Unite for Quality and are consistent with the 10 Key messages on ‘What is needed to improve the Quality of Education in Europe?’ approved by the ETUCE Committee on 23-24 October 2013. “Ensuring highly qualified and motivated teaching staff is the key to building quality within education teachers”, key message n. 7 points out. “Many teachers feel totally overwhelmed and it is hardly surprising that two-in-five leave the profession after their first five years in the job and morale is at an all-time low. Many thousands of good teachers are leaving the profession and education is being damaged as a result” Christine Blower, General Secretary of NUT and President of ETUCE recently stated. “This is an issue that should concern everyone. Our children deserve enthusiastic, energetic teachers not overworked and stressed ones” she continued. NUT and ETUCE member organisations won’t stop to advocate for fair working conditions and adequate wages in education.