ASCL responds to reports of mandatory minimum service levels

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to a report in The Sun that Education Secretary Gillian Keegan will today announce plans for minimum service levels in the event of strike action in schools.
“Minimum service levels are a profoundly illiberal policy by a government that has lost the argument. Nobody wants to go on strike. It is action that is taken as a last resort when all else has failed. But passing a law which effectively removes the right to strike from groups of employees is obviously done in order to weaken unions and the voice of employees over their pay and conditions.
“We are concerned that this legislation will be used by the government to impose a miserly pay award next year which will further erode the real value of teacher pay and worsen a recruitment and retention crisis which is causing huge damage. Last week’s autumn statement favoured tax cuts over investment in public services and the result of this decision for the education sector is that it will make any meaningful pay award unaffordable for schools and colleges next year without further cuts to provision.”