‘No-Gove’ on talks in teacher dispute

Date published: 27 March 2014

OLDHAM teachers were among the hundreds who took part in strike action yesterday.

Schools closed as teachers attended a protest march in Manchester.

The National Union of Teachers staged the one-day walkout over pay and conditions.

Many schools in Oldham were either shut or open only for some pupils in the dispute about excessive workloads, the introduction of performance-related pay and changes to pensions.

Mark McGinn, NUT rep at Failsworth School, was on the picket line at the Brierley Avenue secondary.

He said: “The main issue is pensions. Under the new regime we are expected to work until we are 67 to get our full pension.

“In the current climate that’s virtually impossible. No teacher is going to get the full entitlement and it’s not a gold-plated pension. We had low pay because we knew we had this entitlement when we retired.”

Nigel Yeo, joint branch secretary of Oldham NUT, accused education secretary Michael Gove of failing to take part in “meaningful” negotiations: “Michael Gove and ministers haven’t turned up to talks.

“They only send civil servants. They are not negotiating at all.”

Supporting the strike, Oldham West and Royton MP Michael Meacher, said: “The public is on the side of the teachers’ unions in wanting Gove to stop his incessant and unwarranted attacks on teachers’ pay, pensions, conditions of service and jobs.

“Pay progression decisions for teachers based on factors unrelated to education and outside teachers’ control are unacceptable.”