Commenting on the TUC Special Congress today on the Government’s proposed minimum service levels which would place restrictions on education staff who have democratically and legally voted for strike action, forcing most to go into work on strike days, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“The Government’s latest attack on the rights of working people shows yet again their absolute disregard for the democratic rights of people in this country. The Prime Minister and the Westminster Government stand alone. The First Ministers of Wales and Scotland have today joined Metro Mayors and Council leaders in England in pledging to do all they can to prevent minimum services levels being imposed. We also welcome the Labour Party’s commitment to repeal the measures.
Strikes are often the direct result of Government’s abject failure to sufficiently support the education system. Minimum service levels will not address the crisis in schools which Gillian Keegan and her many predecessors has created. It is no solution to inadequate funding, pay, excessive workload, recruitment and retention, crumbling buildings or any number of other serious challenges. It is a bit rich of the Government to preach about minimum service levels in the week where the teacher recruitment and retention crisis they have created has been laid bare, with the Government again missing its own targets and figures showing we are only training half of the number of teachers that are needed.
The Government must be left in no doubt that their determination to impose restrictions on education workers’ fundamental rights to take strike action will be challenged. The NEU welcomes the TUC’s decision to fight this latest desperate act of a desperate Government led by an unelected Prime Minister. MSLs are a malicious act, they’re wrong-headed and will be entirely counter-productive. They must be defeated”.