https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2016/06/24/education-in-the-media-24-june-2016/

Education in the media: 24 June 2016

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Today’s education news review looks at coverage of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) planned industrial action on 5 July.

Industrial action

Yesterday, 23 June, the NUT in England announced its intention to strike on 5 July, despite less than a quarter of its members voting.

Today there is widespread coverage of the decision including in The Times, The Daily Mirror, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and the Financial Times as well as in the TES and on BBC Online.

The Financial Times, Mail and Times make the important point that a tiny 24.5% of eligible NUT members took part in the ballot.

The NUT’s reasons for striking are unclear. We are engaged in talks with unions about all of the issues they claim to be striking about.

We are clear that it was irresponsible for the NUT to call a strike on the same day as the Key Stage 2 results were published.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

It is disappointing the National Union of Teachers has chosen to take unnecessary and damaging strike action, which less than a quarter of its members voted for. It is even more disappointing when we have offered and committed to formal talks between ministers and the unions to address their concerns about pay.

 

Industrial action causes disruption to children’s education and parents who have to take time out of work to arrange childcare, we urge the NUT not to proceed with this strike and to resolve pay disputes at the negotiating table rather than playing politics with children's futures.

The Trade Union Act – which received Royal Assent in May 2016 - will ensure that in important public services, including education, an additional threshold of 40% of support to take industrial action from all eligible members must be met for action to be legal.