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What are your views on the teachers’ strike planned for March 26?

PUBLISHED: 15:10 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:10 07 February 2014

Christine Blower, the General Secretary of the NUT Photo: Philip Toscano / PA Wire

Christine Blower, the General Secretary of the NUT Photo: Philip Toscano / PA Wire

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Teachers are to stage a national strike in a long-running row over pay, pensions and conditions.

Members of the National Union of Teachers in England and Wales will walk out on March 26 after accusing Education Secretary Michael Gove of “persistent refusals” to address their complaints.

The union has held a series of strikes since first balloting its members almost three years ago, but more recently called off industrial action as talks were held.

General secretary Christine Blower said: “Michael Gove’s persistent refusals to address our ongoing dispute over pay, pensions and conditions of service, is unnecessary and deeply damaging.

“As a result, thousands of good, experienced teachers are leaving or considering leaving the job and a teacher shortage crisis is looming with two in five teachers leaving the profession in their first five years.

“The NUT and NASUWT met with government officials in October - now over 17 weeks ago. Reassurances were given that Michael Gove would talk about a wide range of matters on implementation of pay and pensions and the direction of travel and implementation on conditions.

“Subsequently, the Education Secretary has put obstacle after obstacle in the way of talks, showing no serious attempt to resolve - or even to discuss - the matters in dispute.

“We on the other hand have made every effort. We cancelled the strike planned for November and postponed action in February. We have indicated we will meet with Michael Gove anywhere, any time to seek to resolve the disputes in the interest of the education service.

“Strike action is always a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the fact that we have been put in a position whereby we have no alternative.“

Ms Blower said responsibility for the dispute lies “fairly and squarely” at the door of the “intransigent” Education Secretary, adding: “His policies are losing the coalition parties votes. It is time he changed his attitude and listened to the genuine concerns of teachers.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more.

“They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and those talks will begin shortly.

“Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is nevertheless taking strike action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”

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