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Cardiff teachers strike against 'death wish' workload
Teachers at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff struck on 9 July against new timetables. The dispute could be a test case for the council's attempts to force more from workers.
Changes would increase the number of lessons by 15%. Teachers are already exhausted.
Teachers' unions NUT and NASUWT are demanding more staff if plans go ahead. A recent national survey found 89% of teachers with mental health problems blame workload.
"If my resolve ever weakens, I always think of ex-colleagues," one said. "We're not just taking action for our own sake. Conditions are so bad now that wanting to go into teaching feels more like a death wish than a vocation."
Picket lines were well-attended, well-organised and effective. Local media reported almost 100 teachers stayed away.
Management predictably downplayed the impact, but reports from inside tell of chaos reigning. The school stayed open despite the absence of teachers - and despite caretaking staff organised by general union GMB refusing to cross the picket line.
Discussion has also erupted among non-teaching staff. Their appetite is building for joining the action.
Support workers' union membership numbers had been weakened by what members describe as a feeble response from their union to negotiations. Some had lost almost a fifth of their salary.
But now, many are discussing re-joining - and this time holding union leaders to account.
27 May Reckless, lying cheats
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