Management at an East London school have turned to old-fashioned strike-breaking tactics as teachers continue their battle against excessive workloads.
Teachers at the Langdon School in Newham, who are members of the National Union of Teachers, struck for the fourth time on Thursday 24 November and plan to strike again on Tuesday 29 November and Thursday 1 December, as well as on Wednesday 30 November as part of the pension strike. 70 teachers took part in the last round of strike action, but the school’s intransigent headteacher insisted on keeping the school open despite the low staffing levels.
In a new turn, the school has hired new staff to break the strike. To avoid the legal restriction on employers using agency staff to do the work of striking employees, the school has negotiated direct Local Authority contracts for the strikebreakers. The local NUT believes this gives them grounds for a dispute with the Authority as a whole, as well as Langdon School specifically.
In a message to supporters, NUT reps at the school said: “This is a very tough dispute — and one we’re amazed has got this far. We are proud of our members’ resilience and solidarity. We also need all the support we can get. We know from your messages that many of you face the same issues of workload and oppressive management that we face.
“We thought from the start that this was a fight for all teachers. Now we know it is.”
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