Teachers warn of another strike in July over ongoing pay dispute, union leaders announce
Teachers have warned of another fresh wave of strikes in July if the government does not meet their demands on pay.
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Teachers will walk out in a fresh round of strikes in July if the long-running dispute over pay has not been resolved by mid June, union leaders announced. The National Education Union (NEU) said Education Secretary Gillian Keegan could avoid further industrial action if she addresses pay and other issues including recruitment and retention.
Following a meeting of its joint general secretaries, Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, the union said the education secretary now has to make a decision based on the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) on pay.
They said: “Gillian Keegan now has the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body - and so she now has to make decisions. She has the power to reject, accept or amend the STRB recommendations. She has the power to fully fund her decision.
"If she makes the right call, she can start to move our schools in a better direction. She can fund schools properly, start to address the decline in teacher pay and its consequences for the appalling state of teacher recruitment and retention. If she makes the right decisions, she could also avoid further strike action.”
The union said its executive committee will meet on June 17, and they hope by then the education secretary will have discussed the STRB report and her reaction to it with teacher and headteacher unions over both workload and this year’s pay which remains unresolved.
They said: "If she hasn’t moved to settle the dispute, then that meeting will decide on further strike action in the week commencing July 3. In the meantime, thousands and thousands of NEU members are voting in our re-ballot. Each vote is another message to Gillian Keegan that she must find a settlement.
"Gillian Keegan can no longer hide behind the STRB - she has the report and she must act on it."
In March, the government offered teachers a £1,000 one-off payment alongside an average 4.5% pay rise next year after talks. But members of four major teaching unions rejected the pay offer by substantial margins.
The teaching unions involved in the pay talks are NEU, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers NASUWT, Association of School and College Leaders and National Association of Headteachers (NAHT). The education secretary had suggested that teachers could miss out on an increased pay deal if they rejected the offer.