NEU members believe that the proposed staffing restructure will have a negative impact on the educational provision for children at Springfield Primary School in Moseley. These proposals would, in effect, result in the reduction of experienced teaching staff at the school.
The strikers had great support from parents and members of the local community during Thursday’s strike/picket, with some parents calling for the headteacher to resign.
Here is the letter to parents from the Birmingham Association of the National Education Union – NUT section:
24th May 2018
Dear Parents / Carers of children at Springfield Primary School
It is with great regret that members of the National Education Union (NEU) at Springfield Primary School have decided to take strike action from Thursday 24th May 2018. Strike action is always the last resort for NEU members but on this occasion they feel they have no choice but to take this action in order to defend the quality of the education provided for pupils.
NEU members believe that the proposed staffing restructure will have a negative impact on the educational provision for your children. These proposals would, in effect, result in the reduction of experienced teaching staff at the school. Our members are concerned that the school has already suffered considerably through the loss of valuable, experienced teachers and support staff. The proposals will also result in an increase in the workload of NEU members at the school at a time when workload is already at dangerously high levels. NEU members believe that the proposals will mean they will not be able to deliver the high quality teaching that every Springfield pupil deserves due to unreasonable workload pressures. Members are very concerned by the proposed introduction of 4 Director Posts in the proposed staffing structure which do not require the post holders to have a substantive teaching commitment.
The NEU understands that strike action might inconvenience you and your family, and we apologise for this. Please be assured that the Union remains willing to resolve this dispute as soon as possible, and we very much hope to be able to avoid further strike action.
Members have thought long and hard about whether to take strike action and, as mentioned above, they feel they have been left with no alternative but to do so. They would very much value your support at a time when staff morale is at an all-time low due to the way the school is now managed. So please show your support at the picket lines and join us at a meeting for Springfield parents in Grand Occasions, 226 Solihull Road, Sparkhill B11 3AF (just round the corner from the school) from 3.30pm on Tuesday 5th June 2018.
National Education Union
Birmingham NUT Section
The sad irony of all of this is that the headteacher does not know whether he will be in post from September 2018 – his contract is due to expire on 31st August 2018 – yet he insists on implementing a staffing restructure that teachers are totally opposed to. The head called the police on strikers/pickets on Thursday morning because the demonstration was, according to the head, spilling onto the road. The police turned up, quickly, assessed that this was not the case, informed strikers that they had a right to demonstrate and that they would join them if they could! It’s worrying that any headteacher would try to intimidate and undermine striking workers by using the police.
The Union has given notice of further strike action on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in June and July 2018, starting on 5th June. Picket lines from 7.30am until around 9.00am.