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Teachers strikes set to go ahead next week as no progress made in pay talks

25 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU).

Teacher strikes planned for next week are set to go ahead as no progress has been made in negotiations over pay.

The National Education Union (NEU) said this week it was “prepared to recommend a pause to strikes” to its national executive committee on Saturday in a “sign of goodwill”, but only if a “serious proposal” is made to end the dispute.

On Saturday, the union said it is not expecting any developments and that the strikes remain in place.

NEU members in Wales postponed their last day of action on 14 February to consider an offer from the Welsh Government but they subsequently rejected the an additional 1.5% added to teachers’ pay, plus an additional 1.5% lump sum.

Not good enough

NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said the deal was “simply not good enough and fails to address either the cost-of-living crisis, spiralling inflation, nor the damage done to pay since 2010.

“We have a clear mandate for strike action that is now rescheduled for March 2 in schools across Wales.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan had written to teaching unions inviting them to “formal talks on pay, conditions and reform” on the condition that next week’s strike action is cancelled.

Regional walkouts by NEU members are planned for February 28, March 1 and March 2, with national strike action across England and Wales planned for March 15 and March 16.

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said on Friday: “It is completely disingenuous to suggest that we are not willing to enter talks with Government.

“We are absolutely ready to come to talks. What we cannot accept are pre-conditions which require us to pause strike action before we have made any progress through negotiations to resolve this dispute.”

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