Angela Rayner leading plot to BLOCK plans to save children from teacher strikes as she sides with trade unions

Angela Rayner is set to block plans to keep schools open during strikes
Angela Rayner is set to block plans to keep schools open during strikes
House of Commons
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 30/01/2023

- 16:20

Updated: 30/01/2023

- 16:21

More than 23,000 schools will be affected by strikes this week

Labour will challenge new laws designed to keep schools open during strikes as Angela Rayner backs trade unions saying legislation is “being rushed through”.

Industrial action is set to cause misery for parents on Wednesday when around 100,000 teachers walk out in a dispute over pay.

The Labour Party will introduce a series of amendments to a bill currently going through Parliament which will establish mandatory minimum service levels across six key areas.

Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner has proposed the amendment which would force Business Secretary Grant Shapps to publish an impact assessment on how the legislation would impact workforce numbers and individual workers before any new rules could come into effect.

File photo dated 17/01/23 of Business Secretary Grant Shapps who has demanded that energy suppliers stop forcing financially stretched households to switch to prepayment meters. Mr Shapps has also vowed to name and shame the worst offenders. Issue date: Sunday January 22, 2023.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps would need to publish an impact assessment
Kirsty O'Connor

The planned laws will impose minimum service levels on health, transport services, fire and rescue, border security and nuclear decommissioning.

Headteachers across the UK are working on contingency plans including putting children in “giant classes” or online classes ahead of strike chaos tomorrow.

The National Education Union announced seven days of strikes in England and Wales in February and March.

Rayner said: “Grant Shapps' ludicrous claims that his ‘sacking nurses Bill’ has the international seal of approval are collapsing around his ears.”

Joint NEU general secretary Kevin Courtney confirmed the teachers’ strike will be going ahead as planned following a meeting with Education Secretary Gillian Keegan that lasted more than an hour.

He said: “I regret to say that we didn’t hear anything that enables us to say that the strike shouldn’t go ahead on Wednesday.

“There’s no offer from the Secretary of State trying to bridge the gap between us.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), added: “Parents will have been looking for the Government to avert the planned strike on Wednesday.

“Instead, the Government continues to talk around the issues rather than putting anything on the table which allows for any meaningful negotiation. It is deeply disappointing.”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner during their visit to Harlow Ambulance Station in Essex, to meet staff and frontline workers. Picture date: Friday January 27, 2023.
Labour say they believe the legislation is 'being rushed through"
Yui Mok

“That said, we hope the Secretary of State will bring forward concrete proposals to end this dispute and avert the strike action.”

Wednesday will see the biggest day of strikes since 2011 when a National Day of Action was held by public sector unions over pensions.

Unions including NEU, Aslef, Rail, Maritime and Transport union, University and College union, Public and Commercial Service union, Unite and the IWGB, will all be carrying out industrial action.

MPs will spend up to six hours considering the remaining stages of the Bill tonight.

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