Lancashire’s teachers call off a mass strike

Last year's National Union of Teachers (NUT) strike rally in Preston
Last year's National Union of Teachers (NUT) strike rally in Preston
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The National Union of Teachers came under fire for calling a walk out next month but has now agreed to call off industrial action to give the Government a chance engage in talks.

However, teachers leaders warned that unless “ significant progress” is made in talks a national strike will be held in July. A spokesman for Lancashire NUT said:“As a result of pressure from the NUT, 
ministers have finally turned up to the joint union talks.

“David Laws was at the last meeting and Michael Gove will attend the next.

“In order to assess whether we can make real progress on the matters of most concern to teachers the NUT has decided not to call the strike planned for the week of June 23.

“This gives the Government several more weeks to demonstrate good faith in the talks.”

NUT members from across England and Wales have been lobbying their MPs in Parliament and in constituencies to make sure that they are clear about the issues teachers are worried about in a bid to avoid strike action.

The spokesman added:“Many parents and the general public share our concerns on issues as wide-ranging as ‘unqualified teachers’ in classrooms and the excessive testing of primary school children.

“Teacher morale is at a low ebb with many working in excess of 60 hours a week for uncertain pay and worsening pensions and conditions.

“It is hardly surprising that two in five leave the profession within their first five years, while many other good, experienced teachers are also deciding to go.

“This is unsustainable.

“The consequences further down the line of this Government’s education policies will be disastrous for a free and fair education system for all.

“Education is far too important an issue to ignore.”