Saturday, 15 March 2014


Vicky Nash (NUT) Dave Chapple (CWU)
Brian Smedley(UNITE)from Bridgwater
Trades Council

Teachers have been taking to the streets of Somerset to protest against Coalition Government policies that they say threaten the standard of education in all our schools and colleges. Last week the NUT had a stall in Taunton and today it was Bridgwater. They were joined by sympathetic Trades Unionists as they handed out leaflets and balloons , collected signatures of a petition and explained their case.

NUT rep Vicky Nash was on the town’s Cornhill for over 5  hours urging people to contact their MP, send a letter to the local paper and to keep in touch with the campaign as it develops. Vicky explained that the key issue was to try to make Michael Gove, the Tory Education secretary, change course. “Our education system is being undermined. The Coalition say they no longer require schools to employ qualified teachers, they’re rushing through a new curriculum without resources and against the advice of many teachers and introducing expensive and unnecessary new tests for 5 and 11 year olds. They’re reducing young people’s opportunities by trebling tuition fees and abolishing the EMA;and wasting the olympic legacy by undermining sport in schools.They are also creating chaos of parents by allowing neighboruing schools to have different terms dates and school holidays.”

Every Classroom should have a qualified Teacher

Many young mothers were stopping at the stall clearly concerned at stories of their children having to stay at school until late afternoon s  and at the same time worried at the plummeting moral the changes are causing in the teaching staff. Vicky added “We need to ensure that every classroom has a qualified teacher, that councils are allowed to open new schools where they are needed, that changes to the curriculum and to exams are positive and planned, that schools are working together and properly funded and that there are enough new teachers.”

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Bridgwater Trades Union Council welcomes the National Union of Teachers announcement of a national teachers’ strike on Wednesday 26th March and offers full support and solidarity on behalf of all unions in the Bridgwater area.

The dispute is over pay, pensions, conditions of service and the Government’s refusal to listen to teachers’ concerns over excessive workloads and removal of working time limits.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:“Strike action is always a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the fact that we have been put in a position whereby we have no alternative. The strike action can, of course, be called off. For this to happen, the Secretary of State needs to give reassurances that he will not go ahead with any changes which worsen teachers’ working conditions. "

NUT is organising a street stall in Bridgwater on Saturday 15th March, from 11a, - 3pm at the Cornhill, to inform the public about the reasons for the strike. Please come along to show support .