SCHOOL’S RESPONSE TO STRIKE CAUSES UNNECESSARY DISRUPTION

On 11th July 2019, members of the NASUWT - The Teachers’ Union at Shenley Academy and Sixth Form in Birmingham took strike action in response to the continuing intransigence of the employer and school management to address their concerns regarding adverse management practices.

It has been drawn to the attention of the NASUWT that the School’s response to the strike was to bring in teachers from other schools to cover the lessons of teachers taking strike action.

Ms Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary (Acting) said:

“This appears to be yet another example of the attitude of the school management which is a root cause of the current dispute.

“Not content with approaching staff concerns in a belligerent and hostile manner, leaving teachers with no choice but to take strike action with the consequent disruption to pupils and their parents, the School is now adopting tactics in the face of strike action which is causing disruption to other schools not even involved in the dispute.

“Even more concerning is the fact that apparently the teachers who were brought into the School from other schools were not even told that they would be covering for colleagues who were on strike, causing them distress and concern.

“In the light of this and the continuing failure of the School to address our members’ concerns, we will shortly be issuing notice of escalated strike action to take place in the new term.

“The only way to resolve this dispute is for the employer to be prepared to engage in constructive and genuine dialogue as the NASUWT has been all along.

“This whole dispute has been dogged by an employer who has failed to take seriously the concerns of teachers and the discussions to resolve these. The NASUWT has been more than reasonable, putting forward constructive suggestions for resolution and has been prepared to suspend strike action to enable change to be made. However, the employer failed to implement any change.

“The NASUWT and its members deeply regret any continuing disruption to pupils and parents but in the face of the actions by the employer has no choice.”

FURTHER STRIKE ACTION AT BIRMINGHAM SCHOOL

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Shenley Academy and Sixth Form in Birmingham are taking further strike action on Thursday 11th July over adverse management practices, including marking policies which are contributing to excessive workload affecting the health and well-being of members.

Chris Keates (Ms), General Secretary (Acting) of the NASUWT, said:

“Teachers have a right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and to have working conditions which reflect their role as skilled professionals.

“NASUWT membersare deeply disappointed that they have been forced again into taking strike action.

“Since the teachers last came out on strike, the NASUWT has worked hard to negotiate with the Employer over the issues of concern. Unfortunately, these issues remain unresolved.

“We urge the Employer to recognise the strength of feeling of teachers at school and to commit to working constructively with the NASUWT to resolve these issues swiftly.

“The working practices are not only unacceptable they also fail to respect teachers’ professionalism.

“The continuing intransigence of the school management is a further reflection of the lack of respect being shown to teachers and their concerns.”

Debbie Hayton, NASUWT National Executive Member for Birmingham, said:

“The NASUWT has been forced into taking this strike action as a result of the continued failure of the employer to address the deep concerns of members about the way in which they are being managed and a culture in the school which is adversely affecting their ability to do their best for the pupils they teach.

“A particular concern is the school’s enforced marking policy in which teachers have been made to attend sessions while school management supervise their marking. This disempowers and devalues teachers. These are highly skilled professionals who are being treated unacceptably.

“The NASUWT regrets any disruption caused by the strike action to pupils and parents, but this action could have been avoided if the employer had taken seriously our members’ concerns and taken effective action to address them.”