Monday, 3 February 2014

Briefing: National Autistic Society Schools on Strike

There are 5 N.A.S. schools currently taking industrial action due to the attempted imposition of new contracts. All 5 schools have so far taken 6 days of strike action. The N.A.S. recently cancelled a planned meeting with the NUT & NASUWT about the new imposed contracts at very short notice. Teachers have been repeatedly threatened with dismissal if they do not sign. The N.A.S. refuse to recognise trade unions.

The N.A.S. claim they do not have any money and yet their Trustee’s Annual Report for March 2013 reports reserves of £27.9 million and an ongoing operating surplus of over £1 million.

Teachers rarely strike in special schools due to their special commitment to the students. These teachers risk, on a daily basis, being spat, pinched, punched and worse due to the challenging and complex needs of the students. The teachers are highly skilled and dedicated.

The N.A.S. want to:

  • Reduce paid holiday leave by 5 days.
  • Reduce industrial injury from 200 to 66 working days – remember these teachers are far more often injured at work.
  • New contracts that allow management to further worsen their pay & conditions by simply giving 30 days’ notice. 
Teachers in N.A.S. schools already have worse pay and conditions compared to maintained schools.

The N.A.S. have tried to bully, lie and emotional blackmail members into not striking. They put their profits before the students and teachers alike. Parents support the teachers.

If these dispute is lost teachers and support staff alike will simply and with regret leave. The students will take 9 to 12 months readjusting to new less qualified staff. The students will suffer badly.

If the N.A.S. still refuse to negotiate with the NUT & NASUWT more strikes are planned.

This briefing is reproduced with permission of Ealing NUT

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