Pressure is mounting on Rishi Sunak to fix the dispute over teachers’ pay, as a new poll has shown that just 37 percent of people disagree with their decision to go on strike. A Techne UK poll for Express.co.uk asked 1,626 adults: “Are teachers wrong to go on strike?”
Just 37 percent of people said yes, while 48 percent of people said no. Some 15 percent of people said they don’t know.
The Government is currently in the process of passing anti-strike legislation, which will introduce “minimum safety levels” for several industries.
Conservative voters were divided on the issue, with 49 percent of those who voted for the party in 2019 agreeing that teachers are wrong to go on strike, while 40 percent disagreed.
Labour voters came out more strongly in favour of striking teachers, with just 12 percent saying teachers were wrong to go on strike.
Some 76 percent of 2019 Labour voters said they were not wrong to go on strie.
On Thursday, more than 100,000 members of the National Education Union (NEU) walked out in the first teaching strike since 2016.
More than half of schools in England either restricted attendance or closed during teacher strikes on Wednesday, government data suggested.
Ms Keegan admitted being surprised to learn that teachers were not legally bound to let their bosses know whether they planned to turn up to class during industrial action.
She said it was “unreasonable” for teachers to fail to announce their intentions to walk out.
The law could reportedly be changed to force teachers to inform head teachers if they plan to strike.
Ms Keegan said she is “surprised” that teachers do not have to inform schools they are striking.
She said she asked all teachers to “be constructive” and inform their headteachers of their plan to strike.
The Government’s new legislation, introduced earlier this month, will set “minimum safety levels” for several industries, limiting their ability to take industrial action.
It has denied the laws will remove the right to strike, with Business Secretary Grant Shapps saying ministers “absolutely believe in the right to strike”.
But he said the Government is “duty bound” to protect the lives and livelihoods of the public.
The Techne Poll spoke to 1,626 UK adults on February 1 and 2.
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