Teachers announce more strikes with NEU threatening coordinated action with other unions

17 June 2023, 23:58

The NEU is continuing strikes and threatening coordinated action with other unions
The NEU is continuing strikes and threatening coordinated action with other unions. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Teachers in England to stage fresh strikes as part of their long dispute with the Government on pay.

National Education Union (NEU) members will walk out on July 5 and 7, causing disruption to the summer term for schools across the nation.

A ballot is also currently taking place over the continuation of strikes until the end of the year.

Other education unions including the ASCL, NAHT and the NASUWT are also balloting their members for strikes over pay and funding for teachers in England - with coordinated action threatened by the unions.

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said it the Education Secretary could end the strikes.

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NEU members have been in a long-running dispute with the Government over pay
NEU members have been in a long-running dispute with the Government over pay. Picture: Getty

"Time and again the National Education Union, alongside its sister unions, have called for the Education Secretary to get around the negotiation table to settle this dispute for a fully-funded teacher pay increase. Time and again our calls have fallen on stony ground," they said.

"The Education Secretary refused to re-enter negotiation on the grounds that she and her department were waiting for the publication of the School Teachers' Review Body's (STRB) recommendation on pay."

The NEU said the minister had received the body's report and recommendations, but would not comment on speculation that it was suggesting a 6.5% pay rise.

The union leaders said they were worried that the Government was contemplating not implementing the report or not funding it properly.

They added: "Gillian Keegan also says that she will publish the report in her own good time, which by her department's recent record will be at least another month.

"This causes huge uncertainty for schools and is hugely disrespectful to headteachers. None are able to properly plan for next year.

"Unlike her counterparts in Scotland and Wales where the pay disputes have been settled, this Education Secretary has wilfully turned her back on teachers in England.

"No one wants to take strike action but when faced with an Education Secretary who clearly has no interest in settling this dispute, teachers are left with no option.

"Gillian Keegan could avoid the strikes in July by publishing the STRB report, entering substantive talks with us and the education unions ASCL, NAHT and NASUWT to find a settlement on its response to the report, its funding and this year's pay rise."

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Further strike action will cause real damage to pupil learning and even more disruption for parents right across the country.

"Thousands of schools are receiving significant additional funding as part of the extra £2 billion of investment we are providing for both 2023/24 and 2024/25 which will take school funding its highest level in history next year, as measured by the IFS.

"As part of the normal process, the independent School Teachers' Review Body has submitted its recommendations to Government on teacher pay for 2023/24. We will be considering the recommendations and will publish our response in the usual way."