Industrial action might close schools

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SCHOOLS may be forced to close when two teachers’ unions hold a day of industrial action later this month.

It is not yet clear how individual schools in South Holland will be affected after members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the National Union of Teachers voted to strike on June 30 over government plans to cut the value of their pension schemes.

However, the ATL alone has 951 members eligible to strike in Lincolnshire.

The proposals could see higher staff contributions, later retirement and a change from final salary schemes to cheaper, career average schemes.

John Buck, a teacher for 25 years and a spokesman for the ATL in Lincolnshire, said the changes would effectively mean a pay cut of £50 a month for newly-qualified teachers and £200 for headteachers.

He said: “Going on strike is a situation none of our members wanted because nobody wants to affect the education of children, but teachers have been put in a no-win situation.

“There is already a recruitment crisis for newly-qualified teachers and headteachers and these changes to pensions would only make the situation worse and have a much bigger effect on education in the long-run.”

Further public services including courts and job centres could also be affected on June 30 after the Public and Commercial Services Union voted in favour of taking action over pension changes, job cuts and a pay freeze.