GMB respects the rights of other trade unions to take industrial action and supports the Teachers unions’ in their strike action.

GMB members have not been balloted around Teachers Pay and by law cannot be called upon to take part in industrial action on Teachers strike days. Members should work normally without undermining teachers who are on strike.

What does “work normally” mean?

It means you should work in accordance with your contract of employment and only carry out your usual duties/responsibilities for that day.

It means you should not take on any additional responsibilities that arise directly as a result of the teachers’ industrial action.

This includes any staff employed as either HLTAs or Cover Supervisors.

Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) should only do ‘Specified Work’ with the support and/or supervision of a Qualified Teacher.

Cover Supervisors supervise students who are working to a lesson prepared by a Qualified Teacher, usually a classroom teacher.

If you are in either of these roles you should not be expected to take whole classes on the day of a strike if the teacher that normally supervises, supports or prepares your work is on strike.

 What about picket lines?

The Code of Practice on Picketing says, “Everyone has the right to decide for themself whether they will cross a picket line.” If you decide not to cross a picket line because you feel at risk, you should contact your manager to explain that you are not on strike but you were too intimidated to cross the picket line.

 What if the School is closed?

If your school is closed you should notify your employer that you are not on strike and you are available for work as usual, therefore you should be paid.


GMB understands that arranging childcare should your child’s school be closed as a result of industrial action is challenging and potentially expensive. Therefore, if you are unable to arrange childcare in this situation, your employer should offer you dependents’ leave.

For further information contact GMB on 0345 337 7777.




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