Strike Action Closes Ealing and Hounslow Schools

National Union of Teachers protest over 2.45% pay increase

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Thousands of local children were forced to stay home from school on Thursday 24th April because of strike action by teaching staff.

More than 26 schools across Ealing were closed and many more were disrupted because of the industrial action by members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT). In Hounslow 23 schools will be closed (4 secondary, 18 primary); 30 will be partially closed (5 secondary, 23 primary) meaning that 17,298 students were disrupted.

The NUT called the strike in protest at a 2.45% pay rise. Commenting on the strike action Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said, “Thousands of members turned out to support this day of action. It shows the NUT made the right decision to call upon its members to strike. Erosion of teachers’ pay is now firmly on the public agenda as a result. We have highlighted the case for pay which at least keeps up with the rate of inflation as measured by RPI.

“One message that came across loud and clear from our young teacher members is that a combination of declining pay rates and unacceptable workload is driving them out of the profession at an alarming rate. They feel undervalued by a government that asks them to repay student loans at a rate of 4.8% yet only wants to give them a pay increase of 2.45%.

“The review body made clear that if inflation increased beyond 3.25% then the pay negotiations could be reopened. This provides the Government with an opportunity to act to improve pay prospects for teachers.”

Education Secretary Ed Balls said he was "disappointed" that the teachers' union called the strike and that parents shared his feelings about the walkout.

April 25, 2008