Industrial Action Frequently Asked Questions
Governance Queries in relation to Strike Action
Will you be sending a letter to all staff who are eligible to take action telling them that they will be breach of contract etc. as outlined in the advice? If you are could I have a copy so that we can send the same letter? If not, could I have a copy of anything that you are going to send so that we can do the same?
The LA will send a letter to community schools providing all staff with information in relation to the industrial action. A model letter will also be sent to the Chairs of Governors for VA schools. Copies of both letters are available on the schools Extranet
If people are going to take industrial action, do they have to let someone know? If so who, and when do they have to let them know by?
At least 7 days before industrial action is taken the unions are required to give written notice to the employer of when the action will start and the names of its members. Heads can ask their staff if they are intending to take action, however individual members of staff are not required to inform their line managers.
Are you drafting a letter to send to parents or will this be up to individual schools?
It is not planned to draft a model letter to send to parents as the impact of the industrial action will vary in each school, therefore our advice is for individual schools to prepare a letter to inform parents on how the industrial action will affect their school’
If the school I work in is shut because of strike action and I am not on strike am I required to work?
Yes providing your Headteacher is satisfied that it is safe for you to be on site you are expected to work.
Why is the deduction of wages made on the basis of 1/365 of salary per day of action? I don't think teacher's contracts require them to work every day of the year. Obviously holidays and bank holidays are paid but presumably we should not include weekends - this would mean the deduction should be 1/264. I don't want to be out of step with other schools, but I do think the approach here needs to be fair.
The strike action deduction calculation forms part of the Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (Burgundy) which was nationally negotiated and is referred to in teachers’ contract of employment. The extract (section 3 paragraph 3) states
‘Deduction of Salary
In addition to the provisions of Sections 4, 5 and 6, where authorised unpaid leave of absence or unauthorised absence (e.g. strike action) occurs deductions of salary shall be calculated at a daily or part-daily rate based on the day’s salary being 1/365th of a year for each day of the period of absence.’
We have one member of staff who we already know will be off sick that day due to a planned operation and cover has been arranged (for the period of the operation and recuperation). Are we allowed to continue to use this cover on the strike day?
When sickness absence is planned and certificated planned cover can continue on the strike day.
Is the school permitted to use HLTAs (though not TAs) to cover teachers on the strike day? We generally do use HLTAs to cover PPA time for example.
It would not be appropriate to HLTAs to cover for teachers taking strike action, unless the cover was planned prior to the confirmed date of the industrial action or forms part of their normal day to day duties.
Since some but not all staff are striking, is there any problem legally with opening the school to some but not all classes?
Individual schools will need to carry out a risk assessment when making the decision whether the school can remain open either for part or the whole school