Bridgend and Newport teachers begin three-day pay strike

Teachers in two south Wales schools are today on strike.

NASUWT members at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School in Bridgend are taking action over adverse management practices relating to the detrimental and inappropriate treatment of members which is impacting on their health and welfare, and at Llanwern High School in Newport teachers begin the first of three strike days over staff restructuring and potential job loss.
Of the Bridgend strike, NASUWT acting general secretary Chris Keates said: “The NASUWT members at Archbishop McGrath regret any disruption this strike action causes to pupils or parents, but they have been left with no choice other than to take this action due to the repeated failure of the employer to take seriously their concerns about the way in which they are being managed.

“Members have reported extremely high levels of work-related stress and anxiety as a result of unrealistic expectations and unreasonable deadlines being imposed on them. When they have attempted to discuss this with the employer their concerns have been dismissed.

“The NASUWT has repeatedly attempted to work with the Employer to find a resolution to the dispute, but the concerns of members remain unaddressed.

“We hope that the employer will recognise the need to take its duty of care to its employees seriously so that further strike action can be avoided.”

NASUWT NEC member for South East Wales Mark Morris said: “The NASUWT members at Archbishop McGrath want a safe, supportive and respectful working environment. At the moment that cannot be guaranteed.

“We will continue to be in discussions with the Employer to try to avoid further disruption, but we need the Employer to wake up to the reality of the situation in the school.”

Of the Newport strike, Chris Keates said: “The NASUWT does not believe that this restructuring is necessary and is concerned that redundancies will not only leave teachers without their livelihoods, but will also undermine the provision of high-quality education for pupils.

“The union is clear that redundancies can be avoided and that the forthcoming introducing of major reforms to the curriculum should make the retention of skilled, experienced and dedicated teachers even more important to the school.

“We have made every effort to work with the employer to try to resolve this dispute and we regret any disruption to pupils or parents, but members cannot stand by while their jobs are being placed in jeopardy.”

NASUWT NEC member for SE Wales Jane Setchfield said: “Our members should not be experiencing the distress and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds for them and their families. The means of avoiding these redundancies remains available to the Employer.

“The NASUWT continues to remain committed to further negotiations but the Employer must commit to protecting the livelihoods of our members rather than continuing to place their jobs in jeopardy.

“We urge the employer to work with us to find an alternative way forward which safeguards teachers’ jobs and upholds the provision of quality education for all pupils at the school.”

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