UK teachers hold strike in Wales

On Thursday UK teachers and school staff held the first of six strikes at Brecon High school in Powys. 800 students had been told not to attend their classes on the day of strike, over cuts.

The National Association of Schoolmasters/ Union of Women Teachers NASUWT said a number of job positions are to be cut.

The NASUWT criticized school governors for their mismanagement in financial issues. It said the governors had turned £100,000 surplus into a projected £650,000 deficit over three years and failed to tackle budget deficit, which was caused by the educational cuts.

“The school has taken very positive actions over the past three years to tackle an anticipated budget deficit, as the union very well knows. Teaching costs have been reduced by more than 10 percent despite year-on-year teacher pay increases.” said Paul Martin, chairman of governors.

“All vacant posts have been carefully assessed to see if there was scope to reduce staffing levels without the need to have compulsory job losses. As a result 12 vacant positions have not been filled and the school has been able to reduce its staffing levels by more than 10 since 2007,” Martin added.

Rex Phillips, of NASUWT, talked of the strike as a successful attempt. He says the strike was “solid and went well”.

“Now we’re waiting to see if the school and the local authority will come to the negotiation table to discuss this with us,” said Phillips.

Powys council has planned to cut a number of secondary education job positions. Under this proposal, schools will merge and sixth forms will be shut.

The second and third of the six strikes are to be held on March 30 and 31.


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