Sick pay row teachers threaten more strikes

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Teachers at a school which caters for children with behavioural difficulties walked out again last week in a row over sick pay.

Staff at Nugent House in Billinge picketed outside Nugent Care’s Liverpool headquarters as they completed six days of industrial action. Staff from St Catherine’s secure centre in St Helens are also affected by the sick pay changes.

Regional NUT boss Avis Gilmore warned that four more days of strike action could be taken next month unless Nugent Care agrees to meet.

She said: “Nugent Care have proposed quite a drastic reduction to the sick pay entitlement for their longest-serving members of staff. The staff, many of whom work with some of the most challenging pupils in the region, feel this is all about cost-cutting.

“The last thing we want is strike action but Nugent Care have so far declined to meet with us.”

Nugent Care previously claimed that just six teachers had refused to accept the new sick pay terms, but Ms Gilmore said many more teachers were concerned at how the changes were being imposed.

Three of the affected teachers are based at Nugent House and three at St Catherine’s.

A Nugent Care spokeswoman said: “The possibility of a change in the terms of sick pay was first discussed 16 months ago.

“Nugent Care remains willing to try and reach a resolution to the dispute and has ensured there will be no disruption to levels of care or education.”