Tomorrow, members of the NUT (National Union of Teachers), ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) and UCU (University and College Union) will be taking strike action across the country and the Isle of Wight will be no exception.
NUT members on the Island were balloted over the pensions changes and 97.42% backed the strike action with a turn-out of 50.32%.
NUT branch secretary, John McGee, explained to VB the reasons why the teachers are taking this industrial action, “There is a false belief that Public Sector Pensions are gold-plated. They are not. The average Teacher’s pension is about £10,000.
“Teachers are angry and feel cheated by the Government. We are shocked by the imposed changes already brought in – while negotiations are still supposed to be under way – which mean that those already receiving Pensions will get less this year than they should.
“Using teachers’ pensions to make up gap in public finances”
John went on to say, “Teachers negotiated with the Government in 2006, we agreed changes which will make the Teachers’ Pension Scheme sustainable. The Government refuses to evaluate those changes.
“They are using teachers’ pensions to make up the gap in public finances – but those who caused that gap are allowed to escape scot-free, with their grossly inflated pensions and bonuses intact.”
Pressure to negotiate
John McGee went on to explain that the action by the striking teachers tomorrow is intended to put pressure on the Government to negotiate in good faith, while causing the least harm to pupils’ education.
He said, “Schools have been given plenty of notice, so that inconvenience to families may be kept to a minimum. Head Teachers must consider the number of Staff likely to be absent tomorrow and decide whether it would be safe or wise to keep the School open.
“We hope that parents, pupils and the public will be encouraged to contact their MP and members of the Government to insist that they find a better way forward, rather than alienating the people on whom the country relies.”
“Not expecting widespread closures”
We asked the council for a comment about the planned strike action and whether any schools would be closed as a result.
Roger Edwardson, IW Council Head of Learning and Achievement said “The council is continuing to work with schools ahead of 30 June to establish whether they will be affected by the planned teachers strike on 30 June.
“While there will be some disruption to some schools, we are not expecting widespread closures.”
How will schools be affected?
Details of how schools will be affected are embedded below for your convenience. Data was taken from the IWC Website this morning.
Click on the tabs at the bottom of the table to view Primary, Middle, High and Special school details