Gove cannot bully staff into covering for striking teachers

Published on Friday, 24 June 2011 16:08
Posted by Scott Buckler

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today reacted angrily to Michael Gove’s crude attempts to bully local authorities and head teachers into pressurising school support staff into covering for striking teachers (June 24th)

In a letter to local authorities he is urging them to keep schools open by maximising resources. The letter also states that “there is no maximum general pupil-teacher ratios set out in law; with the exception of infant class size”, raising the spectre of pupils being crammed into overstuffed classes.

The union is supporting the teachers’action over pension cuts and has sent clear guidance to its members telling them not to carry out any duties not in their contracts that would otherwise be performed by teachers.

Dave Prentis, UNISON’s General Secretary said:

Telling public service workers they will have to pay more, work longer for a smaller pension is a disgrace. The teachers’ fight for a decent pension is our fight too. We are working with unions across the public service to defend jobs, pensions and services. Urging heads to pressure school support staff into covering for striking teachers, is just not on.

“It is funny too that Michael Gove has suddenly woken up to the existence of support staff. The Government wants to use them when it suits them, but their jobs are under threat and it consistently ignores demands for better training and pay.

“Our advice to school and college staff is clear – do not cover unless it is part of your job. Do not cover if you are not timetabled to do it. If head teachers try to pressurise them we will defend our members.”

 

Source: UNISON

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