TEACHERS were back at school today – determined to fight on for better pay after their strike.
Their 24-hour strike yesterday saw dozens of Kirklees schools closed and thousands of children staying at home.
But union leaders hope the action will galvanise Government ministers into more talks on a better offer.
More than 200 people crammed into St Patrick’s Centre in Huddersfield yesterday morning for a rally on the day that striking teachers were joined by civil servants and college and university lecturers in a day of action.
The rally was addressed by union officials including Gill Goodswen, of Huddersfield, who is the new junior vice president of the National Union of Teachers.
Mr Howard Roberts, general secretary of the Kirklees branch of the NUT, said: “The action was a success in that we had a lot of members taking part and it had a noticeable effect on the schools.
“But we are disappointed that we had to take strike action. Teachers do not like taking strike action and it had been 21 years since our last action, but we have been patient.
“I think many parents understand why we took the action. Six years of below-inflation pay levels is hard to take and it is no wonder half of newly-qualified teachers quit the profession in less than five years.”
Lectures at Huddersfield Technical College were hit when more than 200 union members walked out on strike and pickets were on duty for much of the day.