NUT Industrial Action – advice to UNISON members

NUT members who teach in sixth form colleges will be striking on Tuesday 15 March, after a 86% vote in favour of action against the government’s education funding cuts, which have been much greater to 16-19 funding than to school funding. Despite the success of sixth forms, these colleges are under threat, as is the quality of education available to our young people.

UNISON West Sussex advice to our members for 15 March is as follows:

  • We support the action of our colleagues in the NUT, and respect the rights of all trade unions to take industrial action. UNISON members in schools and sixth form colleges have not been balloted for strike action and we therefore advise them to continue with their normal duties and responsibilities.
  • However, UNISON members should not take on any additional responsibilities being given to them directly as a result of the teachers’ industrial action.
  • School support staff should not be expected to provide cover for or take classes where this would normally be done by teachers who are taking action. In particular, UNISON members should only be taking classes or providing cover where they are contracted to do so, if it is timetabled or part of their normal duties. Staff should not be moved from the duties they would normally have carried out in order to cover classes and frustrate the industrial action of colleagues.

Members who are under pressure to cover should contact their UNISON rep or the branch office on 01243 777636 or

Members are reminded that industrial relations legislation means only those employees who have been involved in a legal ballot are allowed to take industrial action.