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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 12:35 GMT
London teachers vote on strike
Teachers on a protest in March
Teachers walked out over the allowances in March
Teachers in the capital are voting on whether to take strike action over London allowances.

If members of the National Union of Teachers vote in favour of a walkout, schools in London could be forced to close for the second time this year.

London allowances
Inner: 3,105
Outer: 2,043
Fringe: 792
Industrial action by up to 3,000 NUT members in March saw widespread disruption to lessons, as up to half of the capital's 2,000 schools were closed.

The union is demanding an increase in the London weighting allowance to take it up to 6,000 per annum, in line with the allowance given to Metropolitan police officers.

Currently teachers receive allowances of between 800 and 3,000.

Ballot papers were sent to NUT members in inner and outer London on 11 October and were to be returned by Tuesday 29.

If they are in favour of action, the strike will take place on Thursday 14 November.

Comparing salaries

The threat of further action by London teachers comes as talks are continuing to try and avert threatened strikes by firefighters who want a pay rise of 40%.

The head of salaries at the NUT, Barry Fawcett, said it was standard practice for workers to compare their salaries with others in the public sector.

Basic pay
Just qualified: 17,628
After seven years: 25,746
Upper scale: 27,894
"I think everybody does it - employers do it, government does it and staff do it because there are limits to the sacrifices that people are prepared to make.

"If they can't live, or can't live reasonably, on the sort of salary that they're getting and there are lots of jobs available with other employers for better rates of pay, then inevitably they're going to move to those other employers.

"So if government wants to recruit and retain teachers in London, then it's got to have a competitive package."


Click here to go to BBC London Online

The London strike

The wider picture

TALKING POINT
See also:

04 Oct 02 | Education
22 May 02 | Education
05 Mar 02 | Education
30 Jan 02 | Education
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