His facts are confused

AS NUT area representative for Mendip encompassing the schools affected by the upcoming national strike action and, being a teacher at one of these local schools, I wish

AS NUT area representative for Mendip encompassing the schools affected by the upcoming national strike action and, being a teacher at one of these local schools, I wish to thank the Somerset Mercury for its balanced reporting of the surrounding issues. Of course this kind of action causes consternation among parents whose children's education becomes disrupted and Cllr Richard Burden's comments reflect many people's concerns, however his facts are confused.Teachers do not feel more deserving than anyone in the public sector in terms of pay as will be seen in the coming months as this action is only the beginning of other public sector unions' disputes coming later this year. In addition Cllr Burden appears unaware that Unison fought last year's similar pay deal and, in an unprecedented move, the nation's police took to the streets of London in protest over their payout. In this respect teachers are not isolated in terms of seeking fair pay in line with inflation but rather are involved in a concerted public service effort to this end.I am surprised to see he appears to know more than the governor of the Bank of England over what is 'unrealistic and unobtainable' with regard to pay claims as the latter is on record as saying that public sector pay is not a factor in inflationary pressure and that pay awards should indeed reflect inflation. It is a fact that teachers' pay rises have been below inflation for the last three years and under the current proposals would be even further behind for the next three also.Local teachers work incredibly hard and enjoy the backing of the vast majority of parents in their efforts to ensure high quality educational experiences for their children. It is most unfortunate that we at the NUT feel the need to disrupt this learning with a day of action to draw attention to our poor treatment by the Government. However I feel sure parents will understand that in order to maintain standards the profession needs to attract the best people into the system. The action being taken for the first time in 21 years is to help ensure the long term needs of the nation for a high quality education service our youngsters deserve. We shouldn't deny them that.ROBIN HEAD, (Somerset NUT), School Lane, Draycott


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