Uneasy truce at school

TEACHERS who staged strikes for six weeks over planned redundancies at Rawmarsh Community School, have suspended further action.

Talks last Friday between the NUT, the school and the local authority resulted in the employer withdrawing the last teacher redundancy which was to be forced in April.

NUT members began their industrial action over 30 planned redundancies at the improving school and sports college.

They said kids’ education would suffer as a direct result of the cuts, and that schools with similar deficits had found alternative methods to claw back cash.

And despite the current stand down, teachers say industrial action will resume after Easter if redundancies planned for August go ahead. There are still nine teachers’ jobs under threat.

There would be more, said Ralph Dyson, school NUT representative, but some staff have taken voluntary redundancy, reduced their hours or taken up positions elsewhere, in a bid to help colleagues.

“Members are feeling good about this latest move,” he added. “We put this proposition forward as a way of helping GCSE kids.”

Ian Stevenson, regional secretary for the NUT, said; “Significant progress was made by the NUT. It remains the case that a number of teachers’ jobs remain at risk for September.

“The agreement reached provides time for the employer to find ways to avoid further job cuts. NUT members remain determined to continue the fight against cuts.

“There has been considerable support from the local community and parents, who are just as opposed to making almost one third of teaching staff at Rawmarsh Community School redundant.”

Rotherham Councillor Paul Lakin, Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Developing Learning Opportunities for Children, said: “The school, council officers and union officials held a productive meeting at which unions agreed to suspend industrial action this term.

“This is a positive move which puts the interests of students back at the forefront. “We understand the union will go back to its members after Easter but we have also reached agreement that no action will affect Year 11 students.

“This situation has to be resolved to avoid further budget problems for the school and it will only be resolved by everyone involved working together.

“I feel the school is heading in the right direction to ensure that it can meet the needs and aspirations of the Rawmarsh community now and in the future.”