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Posted by: John Brace | 5th July 2016

19 Wirral schools closed as teachers go on strike

19 Wirral schools closed as teachers go on strike

Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer (Wirral Council)) at the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016

Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer (Wirral Council)) at the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016 who made the section 36 decision to withhold details of trade union discussions

Last month I was arguing at a public hearing of a Tribunal (First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights)) as the Appellant over in Liverpool why Wirral Council should release the minutes of the Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee. For those who don’t know this is a regular meeting at Wirral Council between politicians, senior management and trade union representatives.

Regular readers of this blog, Nigel Hobro and James Griffiths were both there watching.

One of the public interest arguments I tried to describe was that when public sector workers go on strike it disrupts services that the general public rely on (in this case education).

Now, within a fortnight of saying that at a public hearing, 19 Wirral schools are closed and 50 partially affected because of a strike by teachers.

I of course await the Tribunal’s final decision (and therefore there are limits as I’m the Appellant in what I can put here), but the issues given as reasons for going on strike (academies and teachers’ pay) by the trade union are exactly the same issues that Wirral Council argue shouldn’t be disclosed as part of that Freedom of Information Act request originally made in 2013.

So does the public have a right to know how good or bad trade union relations are? Well we’ll just have to wait another two weeks to see!

For those who are interested in the stories about that hearing (which are probably of wider interest since the strike) links are provided below.

What were the 6 A4 pages of partially redacted minutes of a Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee meeting and the name of a LGA Associate Tutor that Wirral Council disclosed voluntarily in response to a First Tier-Tribunal (General Regulatory chamber) hearing (case number EA/2016/0033) about a Freedom of Information request first made in March 2013?

What was in the 5 A4 page witness statement of Andrew Roberts (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?

What was in the 11 A4 page witness statement of Surjit Tour (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?

What did Andrew Roberts answer to questions about the Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee at the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) hearing (EA/2016/0033)?

What did Andrew Roberts answer to questions about the Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee at the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) hearing (EA/2016/0033) (continued)?

What did Surjit Tour answer to questions about a Freedom of Information request to Wirral Council at the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) hearing (EA/2016/0033) (continued)?

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