School strike due to ‘unacceptable’ pay

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Teachers at a Bispham school went on strike on Wednesday to protest ‘unacceptable’ pay and working conditions.

Five out of seven members of staff at Langdale Free School, on Warbreck Drive, took action on Wednesday.

The National Education Union says they are paid ‘substantially less’ than other teachers in Blackpool, and that leaders at the school ‘consistently refused to recognise the seriousness of teachers’ concerns’.

Teacher Michael Darlington said children whose classes were affected were put in a joint class in the school hall.

Nadeem Siddiqui, of the NEU, said: “In this school they are paying teachers way below what would be the acceptable payment for people who had taught that same length of time.

“We tried to engage with the employer months ago about this, not through strike action but through the normal process. They have ignored us at every turn.

“They have made it clear that they have no intention of recognising trade unions.”

Chair of governors Alison Forrest said: “Langdale Free School is committed to ensuring the best possible conditions of employment for its staff and will continue to attempt negotiation with staff to that end.

“LFS will make every effort to minimise any disruption that may be caused as a result of the action and apologises for any inconvenience the National Education Union action may cause.”

The teachers plan to strike again on Tuesday and Wednesday. Labour candidate Chris Webb, who plans to attend the strike, said: “Teachers at Langdale School are paid up to a staggering 35pc less than other local teachers and many are finding it difficult to keep up with cost of living increases.

“Striking is always a last resort and I urge the governors and management to meet with teachers and the National Education Union.”