Delegates at the NASUWT’s annual conference in Birmingham unanimously backed proposals to continue the union’s industrial action campaign in a dispute over pay, pensions, working conditions and job losses.
They passed a resolution that said industrial action was “the best means of protecting and safeguarding the interests of teachers and state education until the next general election.”
The union has also attacked the government over its attempts to encourage state schools to become academies, which would take them outside of the direct control of local authorities.
Brian Cookson, NASUWT’s national treasurer, called on the conference to support a campaign of industrial action – up to and including strikes – against a range of government policies, including giving state schools academy status.
Mr Penning did a round of broadcast interviews in which he explained that his senior colleague had made a mistake yesterday in advising people how to prepare for a possible strike by tanker drivers.
The shift from Mr Maude – the Cabinet Office minister responsible for civil contingencies – to Mr Penning as the Government’s principal spokesman on the strike marks a clear change in tone and style.
Sales of petrol and diesel increased dramatically as motorists flocked to garages to fill up following controversial advice from the Government ahead of a possible strike by fuel tanker drivers.
Petrol sales shot up by 81 per cent and diesel by 43 per cent, according to the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents around 5,500 garages across the UK.
A spokesman blamed advice from the Government on keeping tanks topped up, including the much-criticised call by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to fill up jerry cans.
McCluskey suggested in a newspaper interview that unions could stage industrial action during the Games as part of their campaign against Government cuts.
The leader of the country’s largest trade union said workers should consider using strike action over the period so as to achieve maximum disruption.
“The attacks that are being launched on public sector workers at the moment are so deep and ideological that the idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable,” he told The Guardian.
“The unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting. If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that’s exactly one that we should be looking at.”
While McClusky stated that a definitive plan for industrial action over the Games has yet to be established he warned that the protests could “absolutely” include strikes.