From the Independent. 28.1.14.
Teachers at one of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s flagship free schools are staging a series of walkouts from Thursday over what they see as an attempt to introduce “zero-hour” contracts at their school.
The action, to be taken at the STEM Academy Tech City in Islington, north London – is the first strike action of its kind at any of the country’s 174 free schools.
The school provides specialist education in the so-called “STEM” subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), which are considered vital for the future of the nation’s economy. It opened last September and is understood at present to have about 150 sixth-formers on its books. About 10 teachers at the school are NUT members.
Teachers at the school asked to be balloted by their union, the National Union of Teachers, after their employers said there would be “legal consequences” if they failed to sign a new contract before Christmas.
Included in it was a paragraph which stated: “The school reserves the right to temporarily lay you off from work without normal contractual pay or to reduce your normal working hours and reduce your pay proportionately. The school will give you as much notice as it can reasonably give of its need to take such action.”