Gosport teachers walk out in row over new pay rules

PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

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TEACHERS and union members went on strike outside a school after changes to their pay were announced.

Senior members of the NUT and NASUWT teaching unions gathered outside Brune Park Community School in Military Road, Gosport, to support teachers who are facing changes in the way they are paid.

DEMO From left, Phil Smith, David Walker, Cath Hallam, Pete Scammell, Pete Badham, Belinda Davis and Caroline Tendlar Brune Park School strike in Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14361-1)

DEMO From left, Phil Smith, David Walker, Cath Hallam, Pete Scammell, Pete Badham, Belinda Davis and Caroline Tendlar Brune Park School strike in Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14361-1)

These include performance-related pay – which could mean a drop in wages if teachers move between schools.

The Brune Park teachers are unhappy with the changes made by education secretary Michael Gove.

He scrapped national negotiations on pay scales and brought in a policy so each school has to negotiate locally.

The policy designed by 10 Hampshire headteachers has been adopted by some schools in the county but Brune Park union members decided to oppose it.

DEMO From left, Phil Smith, David Walker, Cath Hallam, Pete Scammell, Pete Badham, Belinda Davis and Caroline Tendlar Brune Park School strike in Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14361-1)

DEMO From left, Phil Smith, David Walker, Cath Hallam, Pete Scammell, Pete Badham, Belinda Davis and Caroline Tendlar Brune Park School strike in Gosport. Picture: Paul Jacobs (14361-1)

It was the only school in the county that took strike action.

Belinda Davis, divisional secretary of Hampshire NUT, said: ‘The two unions came down to the school on strike action.

‘We were on the picket line because the pay policy that is set to be put in place will put more pressure on the teachers and that means more pressure on the students.

‘It is something that we can’t agree to.

‘Unfortunately, the pay changes will see teachers’ performance related to what their pay will be in the future.

‘The policy also means there will be no portability.

‘Teachers coming into the school cannot guarantee they will have the same pay.’

As well as the local members of the NUT, the deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney also helped support the teachers.

He added: ‘I don’t think that Brune Park will be the only school to strike, but it is the first.

‘We’re asking why Hampshire is the only county to have adopted these changes and why the changes have been made.

‘It shows how strong the teachers at the school are that they have decided to take action.

‘Striking is always the last resort but they had done all they could with management.’

Brune Park was still open yesterday but a reduced number of classes were taught.