School Strikes Hit The UK
UK – Thousands of teachers went on strike today to protest against Government plans to reduce state pensions and increase the age of retirement. Teachers and public sector workers voted to strike after much negotiation between union leaders and Government officials.
Both the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the National Union of Teachers voted in favour of the strike along with the Public and Commercial Services Union. Many parents and carers have expressed their disappointment that teachers have chosen to strike and the decision has caused untold disruption for those who have had to take a day off work or find child care. However, a spokesperson for the ATU stated that the union could find no other alternative. The spokesperson went on to say that their quarrel was not with parents but with the Government.
In a speech given two days ago, Prime Minister David Cameron told public sector workers that he believed they were wrong to strike as he felt the new pension reforms were fair. It is the first time the leader of the coalition Government has publicly intervened when strike action has been threatened.
One teacher commented that they will lose money from their pension as well as being expected to work for longer under the new regime. President of the ATL Andy Brown stated that union members felt they were within their rights to strike but a spokesperson for the DFE said the strike was ‘premature’ and was damaging to the education of students.
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