Teachers strike over ‘management intimidation’

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Angry teachers at Rainhill High took to the picket line today as part of a long-running dispute with the school’s management.

Members of the NASUWT union took industrial action over what they say is the management’s “unacceptable response” to the local branch’s support of national action.

Rainhill High headteacher John Pout

Rainhill High headteacher John Pout

The union has also accused senior leaders at the school of intimidation.

A union spokesman said: “NASUWT members today took strike action at Rainhill High School in St Helens over the unacceptable response of the school’s management to the Union‘s ongoing national action short of strike action.

“The action short of strike action is designed to allow teachers to refuse to undertake additional workload, freeing them up to concentrate on their key task of educating pupils in the classroom. NASUWT has committed to seeking a negotiated resolution to the situation, but despite two meetings to discuss the issues, the school’s management have failed to come up with acceptable ways to monitor and deal with excessive workload, and to address the intimidation of members by senior leaders within the school’s management team.

“A third meeting was due to be held at the school last Friday, but representatives of management chose not to attend so the meeting had to be cancelled.

“NASUWT members picketed outside the school this morning, before attending a Union meeting away from the site.

“The Union has notified further days of strike action if the situation is not resolved.”

A second day of strike action is due to take place on Thursday, with more to follow after the Easter holidays.

A Rainhill High School spokesperson said: “Despite any strike action, Rainhill High School will remain open for all students.

“The NASUWT have threatened 14 days of strike action between 28 March and the end of May 2017.

“This is under their national dispute with the Government. The school will remain open as the NASUWT only represents a minority of the teachers at Rainhill High School.

“The school is keen to resolve this and has referred this matter to ACAS, and the Trustees are happy to meet with NASUWT and ACAS to resolve these issues.”