Strike action takes place at St Edward’s College, Liverpool

The National Education Union (NEU) has said that sixty teaching members are participating in a strike action at St Edward’s College in Liverpool on Tuesday, 23 April 2024.

The decision comes after negotiations broke down in a trade dispute centred around pupil behaviour last week.

Bora Oktas, Regional Officer of the NEU said, “Unfortunately, the college’s management of poor pupil behaviour and staff safety has been inadequate. Despite our members’ efforts to address these issues, the employer’s failure to implement agreed-upon resolutions has left staff and pupils at risk.

“Our members have shown remarkable patience and dedication throughout this process since January. They came to the negotiation table with genuine intentions, but unfortunately, the employer has taken their good will for granted.”

In January, the NEU presented a resolution document outlining how pupil behaviour could be effectively addressed at the college. The document also highlighted the necessary support and resources required from the College Management Team (CLT).

“Although the employer signed this agreement in February, progress has been sluggish due to some CLT members dragging their feet in implementation,” Mr Oktas commented. “We find it disappointing that the employer has not honoured the spirit of the resolution agreement. We expected the employer to implement the agreement promptly. Instead, they have been consistently finding excuses to delay implementation. Our members deserve better.”

Mr Oktas continued, “Our members have given the employer ample opportunities to align the CLT with the agreed principles. However, the lack of action has left our members with no choice but to exercise their statutory right to industrial action.”

“This strike is always a last resort,” emphasised Regional Secretary, Peter Middleman. “But the safety of our members and the children they serve is paramount. Our members are passionate about their work, and they have given the employer every opportunity to reciprocate. When faced with broken promises, industrial action unfortunately becomes necessary.”

Joint Branch Secretary of Liverpool NEU Graham Copsey echoed these sentiments, underlining the fact that parents do not want their children educated in an unsafe environment. “We urge the employer to act swiftly,” Mr Copsey stated. “Implementing the resolution agreement is crucial to avoiding further disruption. We call on the employer to reconsider their stance and fulfil their commitments promptly.”

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