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School leaders in Wales vote to continue taking industrial action

28 Jun 2023 2 minute read
Paul Whiteman general secretary of National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). Photo Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

School leaders in Wales have voted to continue taking industrial action, which could escalate to strikes.

Members of NAHT Cymru have been taking action short of a strike since February in a row over pay, workload and funding.

They voted in March to reject an offer from the Welsh government covering both 2022/23 and 2023/24 and have now renewed their mandate for industrial action, which was due to expire in July.

The ballot showed 95% support continuing action short of a strike, with 74% prepared to strike if needed.

Renewed mandate

NAHT Cymru director Laura Doel said: “Our renewed mandate sends a clear message to the local authority employers and the Welsh Government that our members’ resolve has not weakened and they remain determined to fight over pay, funding and workload.

“Leaders’ and teachers’ pay has deteriorated by 24% in the last 10 years.

“On top of that, our members have been frustrated by the continued failure of all employers and the Welsh government to guarantee that pay awards will be fully funded and to finalise a tangible agreement to reduce workload.

“The ongoing recruitment and retention issues, compounded by pay and funding concerns, have left schools unable to deliver and they are feeling the pressure.

“While all parties remain committed to negotiations, progress is slow.

“School leaders are taking a stand in their fight to defend education and they won’t rest until they get what they need to support their learners.”

Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary, said: “It can’t be right that our members are having to cut their school budgets and seriously consider redundancies just to afford even a below-inflation pay offer.”

The NAHT and other teachers unions are balloting their members for industrial action in schools in England in the autumn term.

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