Redbridge school gates stay locked for teacher strikes
�The decision of the majority of Redbridge’s 3,000-strong teachers to strike has split opinion among other workers, parents and headteachers.
At least 42 Redbridge schools will be closed today (Thurs), while many more will only open to �certain year groups, in a day of �action by teaching unions which coincides with a walkout by �members of �civil servants’ union, the PCS.
Trinity Catholic High School, Mornington Road, Woodford Green, is the only secondary �expected to run “business as usual” after a defiant message from headteacher Dr Paul Doherty.
He said: “I understand the �union’s position on pensions, but I feel that as a headteacher I should do my best to keep the school open.
“We expect all students to attend as normal. Attendance and punctuality will be, as usual, rigorously monitored.”
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Dr Doherty and other senior management staff plan to take classes themselves in the school hall to counteract the “large contingent of staff withdrawing their labour”.
Theresa Drowley, principal of Redbridge College, Barley Lane, Little Heath, where a number of lectures were to be cancelled, �appeared to sympathise with her teachers.
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She said: “In general, staff in the college feel very strongly about the proposed changes to their working age and lower pensions.
“This, if implemented, could have a devastating affect on the education system in this country.”
Nigel May, NUT representative at Ilford County High School, Freemantle Road, Barkingside, said his staff were “fed up” with the changes. Mr May stands to lose �92,459 under the proposed scheme.
He told the Recorder: “We have already had a two year pay freeze and another cut of �100 per month is a significant attack on our l�iving standards. It is the final straw.”
Government ministers Francis Maude and Danny Alexander said: “Public sector pensions will still be among the very best, with a guaranteed pension which very few private sector staff now enjoy.
“We are proposing they will be paid later because people live longer, and that public sector staff will pay more, for a fairer balance �between what they pay and what other taxpayers pay.”