Leader of Suffolk County Council’s Labour group under fire for strike action

Sandy Martin Sandy Martin

Saturday, March 29, 2014
3:28 PM

The leader of Suffolk County Council’s Labour group has come under attack for attending a teachers’ strike rally.

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Councillor Sandy Martin declined to say whether he supported the NUT strike over pay and pensions, but did join more 100 teachers on Ipswich’s Cornhill last week where he delivered a speech.

Teachers are in dispute with the Government over the introduction of a performance-related pay structure and a tougher pension package which would see them receive their pension at the age of 67.

However the Conservative leader of the council, Mark Bee, said he was “appalled” at the decision by Mr Martin, to “stand in line with teachers who are denying children a much-needed day of education”.

He continued: “The week before he was expressing his concerns about our young people’s education. Less than a week later, and he’s out on the picket line supporting teachers who are acting in their own interest and against the interest of children across Suffolk.

“It’s clear that councillor Martin has little concern for hard-pressed parents who had to take a day off work or pay for extra childcare.”

Mr Martin has dismissed the criticisms and said: “I’m not a member of the NUT.

“But I do think that a lot of damage that is being done to education at the moment with free schools being started up in places where they aren’t needed, siphoning money off from other schools which need it, teachers being demoralised, the curriculum changing at the whim of the secretary of state and nobody being sure of how stringent the exams will be from one year to the next.

“All of these are really serious issues and parents are very concerned. The amount of damage being done by this is far greater than one day of strike.”

The strike and rally happened on Wednesday, March 26.

7 comments

  • They should ALL be ashamed of themselves, they should be supporting our schools and our the children and if they can't they should leave.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Mark Bee criticises Sandy Martin...“The week before he was expressing his concerns about our young people’s education." By getting out there and talking to teachers about their genuine issues with Gove's incompetence Sandy is doing more than BumbleBee sitting in his office and being negative! @cat...you have every right to complain about such a lack of professionalism...and the majority of teachers would back you if you complained to the school.

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    Dogberry

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Dogberry I tried complaining to the school. Did not get very far. Interestingly enough the teacher 'retired' from teaching to become a full time labour politician! Often see this person criticising the Suffolk Raising The Bar from the opposition standpoint. Makes me furious.

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    cat

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I don't support striking teachers but good to see a politician with some conviction instead of just seeking popularity!

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    Sportswagon

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • I expect Peter Smith was also stirring up trouble as usual, how can you trust any of these horrible little scroats

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    Sweet cheeks

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • What about teachers who do not mark homework that has been set for over a year so that the students do not have any constructive feedback to learn from. Same teacher who retires from teaching to become a politician and does not give the students their progress reports before leaving even though reports were being written by colleagues before this teacher left. This is one teacher in one school. Sure it is not common practice, but does make my blood boil.

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    cat

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • It is good to see someone from the modern day Labour party actually supporting the workers for a change.

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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