Bromley's teachers go on strike in London
Thousands of schoolchildren are set to have their education disrupted today as teachers take to the streets of London and march against changes to their pensions.
Bromley Council confirmed 21 schools, not including Academies, were to shut as talks to resolve the dispute failed on Monday.
Striking teachers belonging to Bromley National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are due to meet at Lincoln Inn Fields this morning for their demonstration march to Westminster Hall.
The dispute is over plans to make teachers pay more into their pensions, work for longer and accept a pension based on a career average salary rather than the current final salary arrangement.
Bromley NUT branch secretary Auriel Downs said: “If the changes go ahead, teachers will lose a huge amount of money from their pensions. Bromley isn’t known as a militant borough but this has affected everybody.
“The changes are far greater than anything anybody has seen for many years.”
Ms Downs warned of more strikes when the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) ballot on industrial action next week.
She said: “We will see more strikes in the autumn. The career average proposals are not popular. They are unfair against women who have had career breaks.”
Bromley Council’s Industrial Relations Committee was to meet on Tuesday evening to discuss how to manage pay for strikers.
The last time it met was in 2008 following the Unison and Unite pay dispute, where it resolved to deduct 1/250th of the salary for each day.
A letter to parents from Rob Northcott, head of Langley Park for Boys, Beckenham, states: “I will be unable to provide adequate teaching and supervision to guarantee pupils’ safety and welfare.
“I have no choice other than to close the school.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We are clear that a strike will only damage pupils’ learning and inconvenience their busy working parents. The well-being and safety of pupils must remain paramount.”