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EDITIONS
Friday, 4 October, 2002, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Striking teachers to lose more pay
NUT strike
London teachers staged an earlier strike in March
Teachers who take part in one-day strikes could be docked more than a day's pay because they work fewer days a year than most workers.

The proposal, by town hall bosses, comes as teachers in the capital consider a second one-day walkout next month in protest at London weighting allowances.

NUT advert
The NUT wants higher London allowances for teachers
In a letter to local education authorities, Graham Lane, chairman of the national employers' organisation for teachers, said teachers usually lost 1/365th of their salary if they went on strike for a day.

But, after taking legal advice, Mr Lane said the figure could be 1/195th, because teachers' contracts require them to work 195 days a year.

Mr Lane estimates the change could mean the average teacher lost 200 for each day of action, as opposed to 100.

Red rag to a bull

The National Union of Teachers, which is behind the proposed action over London weighting, said the plans could be challenged in the courts.

"It would be better if the employers supported the union's claim for an increase instead of threatening unlawful deductions," said NUT general secretary Doug McAvoy.

"These threats will provoke a greater 'yes' vote."

Mr Lane said he would be prepared to settle for a compromise of 1/260th of pay being docked for striking teachers, on the basis that they were not expected to work on Saturdays and Sundays.

This would bring teachers in line with other council employees, most notably classroom assistants.

"It's very unfair on classroom assistants - who earn a lot less than teachers - that they lose 1/260th of their pay if they take part in a one-day strike," said Mr Lane.

Ballot for action

The NUT is demanding a substantial increase to the existing London allowances - 3,105, 2,043 and 792 for teachers in inner, outer and the fringe areas respectively.

Ballot papers for a second one-day strike are to be sent to union members on 11 October, with a view to a walkout on 14 November.

In March, many schools were forced to close their doors to pupils as NUT members in London staged a strike and a rally through the capital.

"The government wants to end the current allowance system and replace it with greater freedom for individual schools to reward some teachers but not others," said Mr McAvoy.

"The language and approach of the government will be conveyed to our members and will help to ensure a massive response and overwhelming support for a further one day strike.

"All schools in the allowance areas need to be able to attract and retain teachers. The government's approach does not support this."

See also:

14 Mar 02 | Education
14 Mar 02 | Education
05 Mar 02 | Education
30 Jan 02 | Education
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