The nation’s largest teaching union will wait to see what action new prime minister Boris Johnson will take over schools funding before it considers whether to ballot for strike action over teachers’ pay.
The NEU teaching union threatened strike action earlier this year if teachers didn’t receive a pay rise of at least 5 per cent.
Yesterday’s announcement of 2.75 per cent was well below that and caused anger among unions and headteachers, including from the NEU, which says teachers’ pay is falling behind other professions and fuelling the profession's recruitment and retention crisis.
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However, NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said there was a need to wait to see what action the new PM took before considering strike action.
Mr Johnson, who was announced today as having won the contest for the Tory leadership and will be officially sworn in as prime minister tomorrow, promised an extra £4.6 billion for schools by 2022-23 during the leadership election campaign.
Mr Courtney told Tes: “It’s a big moment when you get a new prime minister, and we want to wait and see what Boris Johnson says and to see how he plays things out.
“The second thing he’s mentioned in the TV debate after Brexit is more funding for schools and he needs to make it real. He needs to show he means what he says.
“It’s a day one challenge for him to fully fund the teacher pay rise.”
The strike threat emerged in April at the NEU’s annual conference in Liverpool, when a motion was passed that included a call to prepare for a national strike to take place next year, before Easter, if the government failed to award teachers a pay rise of 5 per cent this year.