Teachers at a Wrexham secondary school are set to stage a three-day walkout in a dispute over a staffing restructure.
A total of 26 teachers from Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Gwersyllt will go on strike starting on Tuesday, 4 June after members of the NASUWT union gave their unanimous backing to a ballot on industrial action.
The row has been sparked after school leaders chose to get rid of some head of department roles as part of changes to the national curriculum, while advertising in The Times newspaper for candidates for replacement positions at the same time.
A senior politician on Wrexham Council described the union’s decision as ‘disappointing’.
However, a national rep said teachers had been left with little choice in the circumstances.
Neil Butler, NASUWT’s leading official for Wales, also accused the school of showing ‘no care’ for its staff.
He said: “The problem with Bryn Alyn is that they’re reducing positions, and at the same time as they’re making redundancies, they’re advertising in the Times Educational Supplement for new teachers to come in and fill these roles.
“NASUWT has never and will never accept a situation whereby teachers are being sacked at exactly the same time as teachers are being employed in the same school.
“That is extremely unusual and totally unsatisfactory as far as we are concerned.
“The main thing is there is a total lack of care for staff at the school by inflicting this redundancy and restructuring process at the same time.”
Mr Butler said teachers had received no further contact to resolve the dispute from either the school’s governing body or the local authority since approving the strike action.
Ysgol Bryn Alyn currently has 700 pupils and is led by headteacher Adele Slinn. It is understood the strike action will not impact youngsters sitting their GCSEs.
But a community leader has warned that the walkout will cause major disruption, and wants governors to step in to resolve the situation.
Cllr Gwenfair Jones, Plaid Cymru representative for Gwersyllt West, said: “The school’s in a bad way and this is going to be three days of chaos.
“I’m glad that the pupils sitting their exams are able to go to school, but it’s unfair on all the others.
“It’s not the teachers’ fault, it’s the management of the school and it’s up to the governing body to try and sort it out.”
Cllr Phil Wynn, lead member for education at Wrexham Council, said: “While we understand that staff have a legal right to strike action, we are obviously disappointed by NASUWT’s decision to pursue this action, and will work with the school to support them during this time.”
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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