INDUSTRIAL action was set to take place at a Rotherham primary school — five weeks after the suspension of the head teacher.
Members of the National Union of Teachers at Listerdale Primary School were poised to commence “Action short of strike action” as the Advertiser went to press today as part of a protest over workload and the action taken against the head.
An NUT spokesman said that the head teacher had been suspended following an unexpected meeting at 8am one school day.
He added: “We believe the timing of the suspension was intended to deny the member access to union representation.”
The NUT’s Division Secretary for Rotherham, Fred Sprague, said that the union were “In the dark” over the motivation for the suspension, but said: “Today’s commencement of action short of a strike will see staff refusing to complete work with we believe has led to an unreasonable workload due to the suspension of this male member of staff.”
Ian Stevenson NUT Regional Secretary said; "I have repeatedly invited Mrs Bottomley who is the The Chair of the Children's Trust in Rotherham and dealing with this matter on behalf of the employer, to discuss with me what are the serious and legitimate concerns of NUT members employed at the school
"Mrs Bottomley has refused to meet with me or enter into any discussion or even recognise that a dispute exists.”
Mr Stevenson said he understood that the Trust had refused an offer from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to help find a way to resolve the dispute.
A spokesman for the Children's Academy Trust said that it was aware of the action at Listerdale Primary School but claimed that no NUT member at the school had contacted the Trust or Governing Body directly to voice any concerns.
The spokesman claimed that the Trust's attempts to offer to meet with staff to discuss any potential workload issues have been blocked by the NUT representative, Mr Stevenson.
He also said that the Trust had been denied the opportunity to meet staff face-to-face, that the NUT has so far failed to supply any evidence of concerns raised by staff and that the offer of a meeting on Monday had been declined by the NUT, adding: “This is a real concern to the Trust as we would like the opportunity to discuss any workload issues directly with the staff in order that we can resolve these potential issues in a timely manner.”