Commenting on the advice issued to employers by the Department for Education (DfE) on the NASUWT and NUT’s action short of strike action, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The Secretary of State is recklessly encouraging schools to take punitive action against teachers on the basis of advice which is littered with caveats and ambiguities and which demonstrates quite clearly that the Secretary of State is unable to state categorically that any action being taken by NASUWT and NUT members is in breach of contract.
“In the light of this, any school which acts on his advice leaves itself vulnerable to extensive and expensive litigation and escalation of industrial action.
“NASUWT members have been taking this action short of strike action since 1st December 2011. Not one single day of children’s education has been disrupted as a result.
“The action being taken by NASUWT and NUT members is pupil, parent and public friendly.
“All of the action instructions support raising standards in schools.
“The real reason the Secretary of State has issued this advice to schools is that, despite the attacks he has mounted on the teaching profession, our action is empowering teachers as professionals.”
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