Support Teachers’ Strikes in National Autistic Society Schools!

January 2014:

NASUWT and NUT teachers are taking industrial action in National Autistic Society schools. You can read more about it here.

I have sent the following message of support to the NASUWT, and a similar one to the NUT. If you would like to send one too, please email Victor Aguera.

I am writing to offer my full support to the NASUWT’s industrial action in National Autistic Society schools. It is appalling that the NAS is refusing even a (below-inflation) 1% pay rise for teachers, despite its healthy financial position and despite be able to afford very high salaries for a few, and that it is trying to making detrimental changes to teachers’ working conditions.

I was particularly disappointed to read that the NAS claims that the obstacle to it recognising NASUWT is that its Board members are parents of autistic children and that they are unimpressed by the union! I am a parent of an autistic child, and am myself on the autism spectrum. My son attends a school with a recognised trade union, and I would not want it any other way.

Autistic children, like all children, benefit from being taught by teachers – and supported by support staff – who have a decent level of morale, pay and conditions, and that only happens where there is a recognised trade union. I would like to tell the NAS Board that I am unimpressed with its Board members thinking that there is any benefit to autistic children in denying this basic right to their teachers!

Unfortunately, there is a long and dishonourable tradition of voluntary sector organisations exploiting the commitment and goodwill of their employees by expecting them to work in poorer conditions than they deserve. The only answer to this is to stand up for yourselves, which I am glad to see the NASUWT doing!

Best wishes and solidarity
Janine Booth
TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee
Autistic-UK Committee (personal capacity)

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