Teachers in England and Wales to strike

The National Education Union has voted for teacher strikes in England and Wales, following ongoing strikes in Scotland.

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Teachers in England and Wales and support staff in Wales have voted for strike action after a ballot by the National Education Union, the UK’s largest education union.

In England a 90.44% majority voted to strike for a pay increase on a turnout of 53.27%. In Wales a 92.28% majority voted yes on a turnout of 58.07%. The NEU is seeking a pay rise “which at least matches inflation, and which begins to restore lost pay”.

The union is declaring seven days of strike action in February and March, though any individual school will only be affected by four of them. The first will be on Wednesday 1st February, affecting 23,400 schools in England and Wales.

Three ballots for support staff in England, which also favoured strike action, didn’t meet the Government’s voter threshold. However, a ballot of support staff in Wales did meet the threshold for strike action.

The full list of projected strike days are:

Wednesday 1st February 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.

Tuesday 14th February 2023: all eligible members in Wales.

Tuesday 28th February 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.

Wednesday 1st March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.

Thursday 2nd March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West.

Wednesday 15th March 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.

Thursday 16th March 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.

Teachers in Scotland have already begun strike action and began 16 days of walkouts across the country today.

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said: “We have continually raised our concerns with successive education secretaries about teacher and support staff pay and its funding in schools and colleges, but instead of seeking to resolve the issue they have sat on their hands. It is disappointing that the Government prefers to talk about yet more draconian anti-strike legislation, rather than work with us to address the causes of strike action.

“This is not about a pay rise but correcting historic real-terms pay cuts. Teachers have lost 23% in real-terms since 2010, and support staff 27% over the same period. The average 5% pay rise for teachers this year is some 7% behind inflation. In the midst of a cost of living crisis, that is an unsustainable situation.

“The Government has also been happy to sit by as their own recruitment targets are routinely missed. Teachers are leaving in droves, a third gone within five years of qualifying. This is a scandalous waste of talent and taxpayers’ money, yet the Government seems unbothered about the conditions they are allowing schools and colleges to slide into.”



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