‘It is quite likely we will strike again’

TEACHERS across Somerset are likely to take strike action again over the coming months.

In June picket lines were set up outside schools across the district as the biggest strike in a generation got under way, with a repeat set to happen if an agreement over Government pension cuts is not reached.

Hundreds of teachers across the area joined the last mass walk-out in protest.

Picket lines were set up outside Weston College’s University Campus in Loxton Road and Worle Community School to show their anger at the plans.

National Union of Teachers (NUT) South West representative, Jon Reddiford, told the Mercury this week: “It is quite likely we will strike again as the Government is not prepared to make concessions.

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“We will be paying more in pension contributions, but working longer.

“The NUT’s national executive will meet in September and make a decision over further strike action.

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“It is unlikely we will stage another strike before November, but it’s not my decision.”

Public sector workers also joined members of the three main teaching unions on a strike for the first time in living memory last time, but it is unclear if the same could happen again.

Teachers at primary, secondary and special schools across Somerset, as well as about 100 members of staff at Weston College’s campuses took part in the industrial action in June, as well as a list of union members at Bridgwater College.

Members of the University and College Union and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers were among those taking part.

Several schools were closed across the area because of the protest against ministers who said pension changes were needed in some sectors as people are living longer.

The Department for Education has written to union leaders setting out plans to recoup �2.8billion from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Teachers and public sector workers are concerned they may also be forced to work until the age of 68.

At some schools the strikes meant if they were not closed there was still a disruption to lessons.

* Click on the link at the top of the page for more on this story.

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