Oxfordshire Green Party backs teachers in taking strike action on 5th July 2016.
National Union of Teachers members in England have voted to strike to protect pay and working conditions. The vote in favour was 91.7%. The first day of strike action is 5th July and others are likely. The basic strike demands are:
- increased funding for schools and education
- improved and guaranteed terms and conditions in all types of schools
- new negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workload issues to be addressed
David Williams, leader of the Green Group on Oxfordshire County Council, comments:
In Oxfordshire, high housing costs make the general teacher recruitment and retention crisis even worse than elsewhere. Class sizes in primary and secondary schools are increasing, subject choices are being cut, and children are getting less individual attention as teachers and support staff are made redundant or not replaced when they leave. There is worse to come, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicting that the biggest real terms cuts to per pupil funding in a generation are still to occur.
Concerning academies, David Williams says:
The long-term commitment from Government to ensure all schools become academies means school-level decisions on pay and working conditions, including maternity/paternity rights and sick pay. Worst of all, academies are allowed to employ people who are not qualified as teachers to teach in their schools! There is absolutely no evidence that this sort of deregulation will lead to higher standards or better staff recruitment or retention.