bloguk2.jpg London NUT members on strike in 2002 Members of the largest teachers' union in England and Wales, the National Union of Teachers voted this week for a one day strike to protest about three more years of pay cuts. 75% of teachers who voted were in favour of the action which will take place on 24th April and will be the opening salvo in a campaign against the continuing erosion of teachers' pay, excessive workload and oversized classes. For the last three years teachers' pay has been pegged below inflation and the latest imposed settlement would mean another three years of the same. Prices in the UK are going up at over 4% according to the Retail Price Index and the essentials of life such as food and fuel are going up even more steeply than that. 50% of young teachers leave the profession after three years - driven out by excessive workload, poor conditions and the promise of considerably better pay in other graduate employment. The government has tried to square the circle by changing the law so that unqualified people can do teachers' jobs. This is quite unacceptable to the NUT and to the vast majority of teachers.  Rallies and demonstrations are planned up and down the country for the day of the strike and the union conference which met over Easter voted to continue with more action after April 24th as part of an ongoing campaign to defend public education. Other public service workers are also having their pay frozen including civil servants, police, and prison workers and many health workers. Other strikes are planned - the higher education union UCU is balloting for the same day and the PSC civil service union is also balloting for action. In addition Teachersolidarity.com  learned today that even the school inspectors are balloting for action next week after being given a 1% pay rise.