The UK’s two biggest teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, have today launched an historic joint agreement committing the unions to work together to protect teachers and defend education.
Representing over 85% of the teaching profession in England and Wales, the two unions are launching an unprecedented joint campaign to end the continuing assault on the teaching profession.
These sustained attacks on working conditions, pensions, pay, conditions of service and the threat to jobs are now so severe that the NASUWT and the NUT believe joint, coordinated and sustained action is essential.
They have written to Education Secretary Michael Gove to seek urgent discussions about the enormous threats to teacher morale and the education system itself.
The two unions are calling on Mr Gove to reach agreement with them on these vital issues before the start of the next academic year.
Should the Government refuse to negotiate sensible arrangements which protect teachers and defend education, then it is the intention of the two unions to move to escalate industrial action, including jointly coordinated strike action and action short of strike action in the autumn.
The campaign will involve working jointly on political lobbying, public campaigns, research and negotiation, together with a jointly coordinated programme of industrial action, including action short of strike action and strike action.
NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates said:
“Since the Government came into office, there has been a relentless and unprecedented assault on teachers’ pay and conditions of service.
“This assault on teachers is damaging standards of education.
“Our two unions, which represent the overwhelming majority of the teaching profession, are united in our determination to defend education by protecting teachers.”
NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said:
“Since coming to power the Government has sought to undermine teachers.
“Occasionally saying we have the best generation of teachers we’ve ever had in no way compensates for the onslaught of attacks and threats to pay, pensions and working conditions.
“We need to stand together to protect our profession and the education system. It is more important than ever that we work together to achieve these goals for all our members.”
Notes to Editors:
A copy of the joint declaration is attached.
Both Chris Keates and Christine Blower will be available for interview.
Media enquiries should go to NASUWT Press Officers Ben Padley on 07785 463119 or Lena Davies on 07867 392746 or NUT Press Officer Caroline Cowie on 07879 480061.