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Strike could close every school in Essex
EVERY secondary school in Essex will close for a day when teachers go on strike next month, a leading union has warned.
Members of the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers will strike on October 1 over pay, pensions and workload.
They have warned a national strike is likely to follow before Christmas.
Jerry Glazier, general secretary of the NUT’s Essex branch, believes the strikes will force secondary schools across the county to shut.
He said: “We would rather not be taking action but we can’t just sit back.
“Taking industrial action is the only thing that makes politicians sit up and listen.
“We know closing schools will have an impact, but we have been left with no alternative.
“We anticipate it will close all secondary schools and have a significant impact on the rest of the schools.”
Government reforms, due to come into effect from this autumn, will link teachers’ pay to performance in the classroom – with schools setting salaries rather than following a national framework.
Changes have also been made to public sector pensions. Mr Glazier said: “We believe the reform is going to have a very negative impact on the quality of teaching.
“The way we have a firstclass education system is to have properly valued teachers.”
Dan McCarthy, executive member for NASUWT in Essex, said 95 per cent of teachers were members of his union or the NUT.
He said: “One day of action will make absolutely no difference to children’s educational performance, aspirations or achievements. But the long-term reduction in the quality and quantity of the teaching work and the changes this Government has made will have a dramatic effect on our teaching.
“We don’t want to do this, but we are being forced to do so."
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