Leaders of England’s two largest teachers unions threatened to launch a nationwide strike in the coming months if their salary demands are not met.
The Nation Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT — unions that together represent 90 percent of British teachers — recently announced plans for the massive strike in June. They will protest the a lack of salary increases, merit-pay reforms and government plans to force teachers to contribute more to their own pensions.
“The attacks on pay and pensions in combination with increasing workload is making teaching an unsustainable option for many,” NUT general secretary Christie Blower said in a statement.
If education officials in the British government do not quickly act to meet the unions’ demands, as many as 400,000 teachers are expected to rally in April and May.
“If there is no positive response to our reasonable demands, the joint strike action we are announcing today is inevitable,” said Blower.
Government officials told The Guardian that any strike would be highly disruptive to the educational system.
“Industrial action will disrupt pupils’ education, hugely inconvenience parents and damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country,” said British education officials.
Merit pay and compensation reform have recently provoked union-led strikes in the United States as well.
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