Strikes are being held at schools across Sussex as a dispute over pay rages on.
The National Education Union (NEU) has called strike action on Wednesday, June 27 at Pashley Down Infants (Eastbourne), Ocklynge Junior School (Eastbourne), Cavendish School (Eastbourne), Ratton School (Eastbourne), Hailsham Community College, Bourne Primary School (Eastbourne) and Central CE School (Chichester).
This is to be followed by a three-day strike on the July 3 to 5 at 12 schools; Priory School (Lewes), Uckfield Community Technology College, St Catherine’s College (Eastbourne), Peacehaven Community School, Seaford Head School, Pashley Down Infants, Ocklynge Junior, Cavendish School, Ratton School, Hailsham Community College, Bourne Primary and Central CE School.
The NEU – an amalgamation of the NUT and the ATL – said the schools involvbed are likely to close on strike days.
The dispute over pay policy in East Sussex has already seen two days of strike action in April.
The union said in East Sussex, many teachers see lower pay than in most of the country.
Phil Clarke, secretary of the Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden NEU, said: “That we have served such a significant amount of strike dates show how seriously our members take a situation where pay will be lower in East Sussex than the rates agreed by the national head teacher associations and in place across the country – where in the most part the cost of living is lower.
“The government is disgracefully underfunding schools and we very much want to work with head teaching campaigning for schools to have to the resources they need. However it is a false economy to under-pay teachers in East Sussex. When hard to recruit maths and science teachers are telling us they are quitting jobs in East Sussex to move up north where the cost of living is lower and they will be paid more. This will only make worse the teacher recruitment crisis and is damaging to our students education.”
Paul McLaughlin, south east regional secretary, said: “The costs to an East Sussex school is on average only £1,700 per year to fix this and we still very much hope this can be resolved so that the strikes do not need to go ahead. We are in negotiations with the County Council and Head Teachers to try and reach a settlement but we must make it clear the having had salaries fall 15% in real terms teachers should not be denied the very small increases recommended by the national pay review body.”