Cheshire East teachers march to protest outside Cheshire MP's office

By Belinda Ryan - Local Democracy Reporter

2nd Feb 2023 | Local News

Dozens of teachers and supporters from across Cheshire East marched from Crewe Railway Station to Dr Kieran Mullan MP's office on Wednesday 1 February (LDRS).
Dozens of teachers and supporters from across Cheshire East marched from Crewe Railway Station to Dr Kieran Mullan MP's office on Wednesday 1 February (LDRS).

Teachers striking for better pay and funding took their protest to the offices of Crewe and Nantwich MP Kieran Mullan - marching from Crewe Railway Station.

On Wednesday (February 1), dozens of teachers and supporters from across Cheshire East marched from Nantwich Road, before demonstrating outside the Conservative MP's Edleston Road office at 12pm.

There was no sign of Dr Mullan or his staff during this time but drivers blasted their horns in support as they were passing the protestors outside the MP's Edleston Road office.

Malbank School teacher, Sarah Vaughan, was at the demonstration (LDRS).

Malbank School teacher Sarah Vaughan, who is district and branch secretary of Cheshire East NEU (National Education Union) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "It has taken a long, long time to get to this point.

"The NEU, our sister unions, have attempted again and again to negotiate with the government over the crisis in education. This isn't just about pay, this is about funding in general.

"Our schools are starved of money, our schools are starved of resources.

"Our teachers and our support staff are leaving this profession in their droves and we are striking today for them, we are striking for our brothers and sisters in education and saying, enough is enough.

"We want the government to listen. Striking is the last thing we wanted to do but, again and again, our message has been ignored."

When asked what she would say to parents who have been forced to take today off work because of the strike action, Mrs Vaughan said: "We are doing this for the future of education and for your children.

"A strike, we know, is disruptive but we never wanted to get to this stage."

The NEU said the strike action in Crewe had been a last resort (Nub News).

She said union bosses were still negotiating with the government as late as Monday to try to avoid strike action.

"We hope you understand that this is for the future of the education of your children and if we don't act now, then when will we act?" said Mrs Vaughan, in a message directly to parents.

Regional officer of the NEU, Bora Oktas, said strike action had been a last resort.

He said: "The strike is about more than pay, it is about education. Education has been neglected for many, many years now and it's not getting any better so teachers have said enough is enough."

Mr Oktas said it it is often portrayed in the media that teachers have it so good with a lot of holidays, 'but they are the ones who worked through the Covid period and didn't get any pay rises'.

He added: "Since 2010 they haven't had any pay rises above inflation They've had basically pay cuts each year."

There was no sign of Dr Kieran Mullan or his staff during this demonstration (Nub News).

Mr Oktas said the teachers had been offered five per cent when the inflation rate is more than double that and they were asking for at least 10 per cent.

"Teachers want fully funded education across the country," said Mr Oktas.

     

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