Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union in Swansea secondary schools will cease strike action today after Swansea Council finally agreed to honour collective agreements. Members had been on strike since September 12th when NASUWT’s offer to Swansea council was rejected. Following continued negotiations, the dispute is now resolved.
In June, members of NASUWT across Swansea voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action over adverse employer practices, threats to job security and the failure of Swansea Council to comply with existing collective agreements. In the ballot, 92% of members voted to support strike action and 96% voted to support action short of strike, based on a turnout of 59%.
NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:
“NASUWT members in Swansea came together to send Swansea Council a simple message: we will not tolerate unsafe or insecure working conditions. Members should be proud that their action has forced Swansea Council to retreat from their proposed breach of existing collective agreements and teachers’ working contracts.
“Strike action could have been avoided if the Council had accepted the NASUWT’s offer a week prior. This entire dispute could have been avoided if the Council had honoured existing collective agreements in the first place. Nevertheless, we are pleased that members can now feel safer and more secure at work.
“Teachers need supportive environments to teach, and pupils need supportive environments to learn. We hope Swansea Council has learned that teachers cannot be treated with disregard. When conditions aren’t right, our members will speak up and employers must listen.”
NASUWT National Official Wales Neil Butler said:
“This is a fantastic outcome for secondary teachers in Swansea. For months, they have faced mounting stress and uncertainty over their rights at work. The Council’s decision to honour existing collective agreements and repair the damage done by breaking one of these will bring feelings of relief to many, but it should never have come to this.
“Now it is time for Swansea Council to begin the essential work of restoring their relationships with teachers. In order to regain teachers’ trust, they need to demonstrate that they are capable of adhering to collective agreements and that they care about providing a supportive working environment. The NASUWT will monitor the situation closely to make sure that these efforts are sustained.”