HAMPSHIRE’S education chief has appealed to teachers not to take strike action that could force the closure of hundreds of schools across the region.
Roy Perry, executive lead member for children’s services and former college lecturer, condemned the vote by members of the NUT and ATL teaching unions to back a national walkout on June 30.
The strike is in protest against the government’s proposed pension changes that would leave teachers working longer, paying more and receiving less when they retire.
Cllr Perry said: ‘I have no sympathy with teachers who go on strike because that is damaging the education of the children who we entrust in their care.
‘Teachers should be continuing negotiations with the government, and not using children as pawns.’
He added: ‘People are living longer and there does need to be a general revision of how we can afford the pension that teachers have.’
This is the first time in ATL’s 127-year history that it has voted for a national walkout, with 83 per cent of members in favour. Turnout for the ballot was 35 per cent.
Results from the NUT’s ballot show 92 per cent of members in favour, with 40 per cent of state school members and 27 per cent of private school members voting.