James Forsyth

The absurd demands of the NUT

The absurd demands of the NUT
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The National Union of Teachers is the spiritual successor to the National Union of Mineworkers; a union representing an honest, decent profession but with a leadership that is committed to an extreme version of leftism. The Union’s latest pay demands are a case in point. The Daily Mail reports that:

“Teachers want their days in the classroom cut to four a week – with a 10 per cent pay rise.

The National Union of Teachers is planning a campaign for contractual rights to spend one day a week marking work and preparing lessons.

It also wants a 35-hour limit on the working week.” Demanding a 10 pay cent pay rise across the board and a reduction in working hours would be a stretch at any time, but to do so in the midst of a recession is just ridiculous. It suggests that the NUT's leadership is just looking for a fight.

We undervalue teachers in this country. We should offer the best ones more respect and more pay. Doing that will require moving away from national pay-bargaining and allowing individual schools to negotiate with individual teachers and to pay them by results. The NUT will go to the wall to prevent any government from allowing this. When it comes to improving education in this country and the respect in which teachers are held in, the NUT are part of the problem not the solution. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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