Teacher strike could close Cambs schools

PARENTS in Huntingdonshire could face childcare problems if strike action causes schools to close later this month. The National Union of Teachers has called a one-day walk out over pay for Thursday, April 24 — the first national strike in 22 years. Up to

PARENTS in Huntingdonshire could face childcare problems if strike action causes schools to close later this month.

The National Union of Teachers has called a one-day walk out over pay for Thursday, April 24 - the first national strike in 22 years.

Up to 2,500 teachers across Cambridgeshire are set to stay away from work, which may force primary and secondary schools with high NUT memberships to close.

Jon Dunveen, the secretary of Cambridgeshire NUT, said: "It [forced closure of schools] is an inevitable consequence of strike action.


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"We wouldn't wish it but this is the only way to get our voices heard."

The NUT wants teachers' pay to rise at least above inflation, which it puts at just above 4 per cent - the pay rise offered was just 2.45 per cent.

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Mr Dunveen, who teaches at a Huntingdonshire school, said: "Something like 50 per cent of newly-qualified teachers leave teaching within three years and the main reason given is pay.

"Members' pay has been dropping down below inflation for five years now, while other pressures have been building up."

It is anticipated that primary schools, with their smaller staff numbers, will be most at risk of closure, although not all NUT members will be taking part in the strike.

Schools in Huntingdonshire were still deciding what measures would be taken should the strike go ahead when contacted by The Hunts Post this week.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: "It is too early at this stage to tell what the impact of the proposed strike action is likely to be.

"The NUT has the largest representation amongst Cambridgeshire schools, so it is possible that in some places it may be necessary for a school to close, although support staff and non-union members will be in.

"We are trying to obtain a more accurate picture of where the impact may be felt most, but we won't have a clear indication until nearer the proposed strike day."

Mr Dunveen added that it was possible a last-minute pay deal would avert the strike but he believed action was likely to go ahead.

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