Rishi Sunak threatens unions with major change to strike laws to stop teacher chaos after parents left in the lurch | The Sun

RISHI Sunak is considering a fresh crackdown on teaching unions in the wake of chaotic school strikes.

The PM is weighing up adding education to a list of public sectors that will be forced to provide minimum service levels during days of industrial action.

A new Bill going through Parliament will eventually force some doctors, nurses, train operators and emergency services personnel to show up at work even if they voted to strike.

No10 hoped to reach a voluntary agreement with education unions on minimum service.

But after yesterday's strike, where principals were given little to no notice over how many teachers would show up, this could become mandatory.

A No10 spokesperson said: "In terms of the minimum service legislation we are retaining the ability to apply that to education.

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"That's not a step we are taking in the first instance. Obviously we will keep that under review and look at potential further strike action and disruption."

Unions inflicted misery on nine in ten schools yesterday — and threatened another walkout if their pay demands are not met.

Strikes by tens of thousands of teachers at the majority of sixth-form colleges and schools left classrooms sitting empty.

Just over one in ten schools fully opened amid industrial action by an estimated 200,000 members of the National Education Union.


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Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “One school closure is too many and it remains deeply disappointing the NEU proceeded with this disruptive action.”

The PM also hit out in a thinly-veiled attack on the strikes which left pupils, many still playing catch-up after the pandemic, missing lessons.

He told the Commons: “I am clear that our children’s education is precious and they deserve to be in school today being taught.”

On a day of paralysis likened to lockdown, the teaching staff were joined by train drivers and civil servants on Walkout Wednesday — with 500,000 downing tools.

Militant teaching union leaders have offered ministers a stark choice of an inflation-busting pay hike or further strikes.

They demanded Ms Keegan “step up with concrete and meaningful proposals” by February 28.

Joint NEU chiefs Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney insisted that their members will do “whatever it takes” to get a new pay deal.

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The warning came as millions of parents had to mind their kids.

They will also be forced to rip up work schedules with a series of regional walkouts and two more national strike days planned.

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