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Union leadership prefers to test water again before striking over funding

NEU executive aims to water down conference motion backing strike action, with call for second indicative ballot

teachers strike

The leadership of Britain’s biggest teaching union believes a further test of members’ opinions will be needed before it can proceed to a full ballot over strike action on schools funding.

The NEU teaching union holds its annual conference in Liverpool next week at which a motion on school funding will be top of its agenda.

The motion calls for steps to “consult members on a national campaign up to and including strike action to oppose cuts in educational provision."

However, an amendment to be moved by the union executive calls for that point to be replaced with: “build on the recent indicative ballot to develop the national campaign in school funding, including preparation for a further indicative ballot as part of the campaign plan.” 

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Speaking at a pre-conference briefing this week, NEU joint-general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “We’ve got lots of steps coming up in the funding campaign, and going back to members and asking whether it’s the right time to call industrial action is something that we’re completely open to.

“We want to judge the time when we do that, but conference will make its decisions on those motions so it might be that conference does tell us that is definitely happening in a particular timescale.”

In the recent indicative ballot, held over Christmas and the new year, a total of 82 per cent of voters backed calls for a strike, yet there was less than the 50 per cent turn out needed to meet legal requirements for strike 



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