Wrexham teachers vow to continue action

Reporter:

Matt Sims

STRIKING teachers have vowed to take further action until a row over redundancies is resolved.

About 20 teachers, all National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) members, went on strike and picketed at Darland High School in Rossett yesterday to protest over the planned loss of eight teaching posts.

Five of the eight teachers has their appeals against redundancy rejected at a panel of governors hearing held at Rossett Hall Hotel yesterday. A sixth staff member decided to accept the offer of a post at another school.

Colin Atkins, a Wales official for the National Association of School Masters Union or Women Teachers (NASUWT), said after the panel decision was announced: "It was just like a conveyor belt. The governors were not at all receptive to the points we were making. It was clear they had closed their minds to any reasonable argument."

Referring to strike activity Susan Nantcurvis, NASUWT’s national executive member for North Wales, said industrial action, short of striking, would continue at the school in the coming days.

She said: “Basically we felt there was no option.

“At the end of March we requested to avert this action and we gave them (the local authority) every opportunity to put in place measures that would have averted the compulsory redundancies and they rejected our concerns and our suggestions.

“Tomorrow and from then on until we get a resolution we will be taking industrial action short of strike action.

“We will be preparing lessons, teaching, and assessing pupils work – education will not suffer.

“What we want is to be able to sit down and talk again.”

The local authority says the redundancies are necessary as the school attempts to plug a huge deficit in its budget, which stood at £291,005 in 2009/10.

Without further action, that would rise to nearly half a million pounds by the end of 2011, the council says.

But NASUWT has said it is unfair to penalise teachers for the financial circumstances in which the school finds itself.

County councillor for Rossett, Hugh Jones, said: “Obviously I am concerned at the action of the teachers and the impact it will have on education for the children which has to be the first priority.”

See full story in the Leader

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