Teacher pay and funding strike wins 82% support

NEU leaders to consider next steps after more than 82,000  teachers take part in consultation

Teacher strike action 2019

Teacher strike action to secure better funding for schools and the full implementation of the teachers' pay award has been given 82 per cent support in a union indicative ballot.

The poll by the NEU teaching union, which surveyed 82,487 teachers in England, found that 99 per cent believed Government funding cuts were having a negative impact in their schools.

However a turnout of just 31.4 per cent of members means the backing for a strike from four in five of respondents will not necessarily be enough to cross the threshold needed in a full ballot.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “The Government’s policy on school funding and teacher pay is having a dreadful impact on the profession and the children they teach.

"They are presiding over a reduction in the number of teachers, alongside a growth in the number of students. Their policies are creating a crisis in both teacher recruitment and retention.”

The NEU executive will be meeting to discuss these findings and will be considering the next steps in the campaign, Mr Courtney said.

In September, unions including the NEU, the NAHT headteachers’ union and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) wrote a joint letter to the DfE saying they were "deeply insulted" by the pay award of 3.5 per cent for teachers on the main pay scale, 2 per cent for those on the upper pay scale and 1.5 per cent for leadership.

Unions criticised the government for ignoring the advice of the STRB (School Teachers Review Body), its own advisory body, which said the pay rise should be 3.5 per cent for all teachers, not just those on the main pay scale.

The NEU also called on the government to full-fund the pay offer, not just fund it beyond the first one per cent, leaving schools to find the rest themselves.

Unions say funding pressures have resulted in cuts to curriculum options, enrichment activities, individual student support, classroom resources and maintenance budgets.

 

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