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Most Brighton and Hove schools expected to shut again as NUT slam Michael Gove
Parents and students will have to prepare themselves for another day of disruption as teachers look set to strike for the third time in less than nine months.
The National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) conference held in Brighton over the bank holiday weekend resulted in the decision for action to be taken in the week beginning June 23.
The other biggest teachers’ union, the NASUWT, has also threatened to take industrial action in the run-up to next year’s general election.
More than 2,000 teachers in Brighton and Hove are affiliated with the NUT members with a further 6,000 across the county.
It is expected that a repeat of disruption caused by the previous two strikes in October last year and last month will take place if the strike goes ahead.
Phil Clarke, national executive member for Brighton and Hove and East Sussex NUT, said: “I’d anticipate that the same level of support as we’ve seen previously simply because the tact from the |Government still hasn’t changed.
“We would much rather have constructive talks than go on strike, but education secretary Michael Gove doesn’t even turn up to them.”
Mr Clarke also agreed that the majority of parents were on board with teachers, claiming there was far more support for them than the coalition’s policies for the education sector.
Paul Shellard, divisional secretary for Brighton and Hove NUT, added: “It’s about whether Gove is prepared to enter negotiations with us, and if he’s not, it will result in further strike action.
“We’ve organised a lobby on June 10, and if there’s still no response to that, then I think that strike action will be taken.
“Brighton and Hove has got the strongest support in terms of schools closing, so if there was a strike we’d be expecting an almost total school closure across the city.”
The strikes are part of a long-running campaign over teachers’ pay, pensions and working conditions.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said teachers’ moral is “dangerously low”.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, also slammed the coalition government, saying its strategies and policies have “betrayed a generation of young people”.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said strike action was “unnecessary”, would “disrupt parents’ lives, damage the reputation of the profession and hold back children’s education”.
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