Mid Wales

Ystradgynlais school claims it is being targeted over strike

  • 19 February 2014
  • From the section Mid Wales
School cloakroom
Image caption The NASUWT denies the school has been singled out for strike action

A Powys high school claims it is being singled out by a teaching union whose members there are set to strike in a row over pay.

NASUWT members are to take action on six days between 5 and 20 March at Ysgol Maesydderwen in Ystradgynlais.

It is over a pay policy adopted by the school's governing body.

The union denied it has targeted the school and called the decision to go public about it "appalling".

The school has written to parents of all 480 pupils informing them of the strike which means it will be closed to Year 7 to 9 pupils on six strike days, if it goes ahead.

'Singled out'

But it will remain open to pupils in Years 10 to 13.

The strike, by 15 union members, follows the school governing body's decision to set the pay of teachers moving from another school, rather than employing them on the same pay scale.

The policy was devised at a regional level by ERW, the school improvement partnership for mid and west Wales which covers Powys, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

In a joint statement, chair of governors Hugh Pattrick and head teacher Sally Speedy said: "We are extremely disappointed that Ysgol Maesydderwen is being singled out for possible strike action by the NASUWT.

"Ysgol Maesydderwen is not the only school to adopt this policy and it has already been adopted by the majority of the 500 schools that are in the ERW region.

'Absolutely flabbergasted'

"However, we are the only school being singled out for any strike action to date, and at this moment in time we are not clear why we are being singled out."

Rex Phillips, NASUWT Wales organiser, said the union gave notice of strike action on 7 February.

"I am absolutely flabbergasted by this appalling decision by the school to go public about this issue because we have been trying to set up a meeting with the governors since they received our strike action notice.

"We have not singled the school out for industrial action."

Mr Phillips said six schools had adopted the pay policy, but Ysgol Maesydderwen was the first where members had asked the union to escalate industrial action.

The union is due to meet the school's governors on Friday.

The possible strike days are 5, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 March.

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