England

North West teachers to strike over reforms

Rally for Education
Image caption Teachers, parents and school governors spoke at the Rally for Education in Manchester

Teaching unions have announced they are going ahead with a one-day strike across the North West in protest at government pay and pension reforms.

The NASUWT teachers' union and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said they had served notice on employers of the walkout on 27 June.

In total, 2,765 schools in 22 authorities will be affected.

A Department for Education spokesman said the decision was "disappointing" and would disrupt pupils and parents.

Union leaders warned it would be the first in a series of regional strikes over the coming months with a national walkout planned for the autumn.

'Anger and frustration'

Schools in the following local authorities will be affected: Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bury, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Knowsley, Lancashire, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, St Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Warrington and District, Wigan and Wirral.

Rallies were held by the unions in Liverpool and Manchester in April, where teachers said schools should not be turned into academies to "make a profit" and planned reforms amounted to an attack on their pay and conditions.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: "The move to strike action is a manifestation of the anger and frustration of teachers at the failure of the government to seek to address the deep concerns of the profession."

The Department for Education said its reforms would give schools the freedom to reward good performance and are fairer than current arrangements, which see most teachers automatically getting a pay rise each year.

A spokesperson said: "We are very disappointed that the NUT and NASUWT have decided to take strike action, which less than a quarter of teachers actually voted for.

"Industrial action will disrupt pupils' education, hugely inconvenience parents and damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country.

"We have met frequently with the NUT and NASUWT to discuss their concerns and will continue to do so."

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