KIDS and parents face the worst strike misery ever as the four biggest teacher unions today began plotting synchronised school walkouts.
In a huge escalation of their pay war with ministers, militant chiefs announced plans to “coordinate” their industrial action this autumn.
Four education unions are plotting coordinated walkouts[/caption]
Schools risk being gutted on strike days as heads, teachers, assistants and all other members go on picket lines together.
The NEU, NAHT, ASCL and NASUWT – who have a collective 800,000 members – declared an “unprecedented show of unity” to turn the screws on the government.
But – with children already missing school to strikes this week – critics blasted yet another blow to learning.
Ex-education minister Jonathan Gullis, a former teacher, told the Sun: “This is completely and utterly outrageous.
READ MORE ON POLITICS
“It is undermining the teaching profession, putting off potential teachers entering it and most importantly damaging the life chances and opportunities of young people across our great country.
“Teaching is a well-paid profession with a great pension, which many in the private sector would be deeply envious of.
“I hope that these teaching unions do not act in such a way and that the union leaders put the members and most importantly the pupils before themselves.”
Most read in The Sun
The National Education Union is holding its ninth strike on Tuesday and plans more for the summer term.
It today announced a fresh ballot to extend industrial action. The other education unions are also holding votes on whether to strike after rejecting the pay offer.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan had offered a 4.5 per cent increase and a one-off £1,000 payment.
Talks between her and the unions have since broken down into a stalemate.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of NEU, said: “In washing her hands of any responsibility for resolving the teacher pay and funding dispute the Education Secretary has united the teaching profession in its determination to not accept the poor offer currently on the table.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “For unions to coordinate strike action with the aim of causing maximum disruption to schools is unreasonable and disproportionate, especially given the impact the pandemic has already had on their learning.
“Children’s education has always been our absolute priority and they should be in classrooms where they belong.
“We have made a fair and reasonable teacher pay offer to the unions, which recognises teachers’ hard work and commitment as well as delivering at additional £2 billion in funding for schools, which they asked for.”