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Teachers vote to accept revised pay offer from Welsh Government

23 Mar 2023 4 minute read
Lewis Miles, 38, a year 6 teacher at Peter Lea Primary in Fairwater, Cardiff

Teachers in Wales will get a pay rise of 8% backdated to September last year after voting to accept a revised offer from the Welsh Government.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) voted 73% in favour to accept the deal, which is fully funded by the Welsh Government and also includes a recommendation for a further 5% rise in 2023/24.

The NEU rejected two pay offers earlier this year, the first in January being worth 5% and the second in February coming in at a 6.5% rise and an additional 1.5% cash bonus.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, hailed the “clear decision” by members and thanked the Welsh Government for being “constructive”.

He said: “The members in Wales have made a clear decision to accept the pay offer, put forward by the minister in a letter dated March 9.

“We would like to thank the Welsh Government for the constructive way in which they have conducted negotiations with the union, and we look forward to a productive working relationship to ensure that the rest of the deal, focused on workload, continues to make good progress.

“Whilst this doesn’t meet our ambitions for pay restitution, every part of this offer is due to our members’ efforts – and we will continue campaigning for the governments in Cardiff and Westminster to invest properly in this generation of children and the staff who work with them.”

The NEU suspended planned strikes in Wales on March 15-16 as its members considered the new pay offer.

Further strike action over this year’s pay is now off the table.

Half of the 3% the teachers will now receive on top of the original 5% offer is a consolidated one-off payment, meaning it will not be considered as part of next year’s negotiations.

Good news

Jeremy Miles, the Welsh Government’s Education Minister, said the agreement was “good news for pupils, parents and teachers”.

“I am pleased that NEU members have voted to accept the enhanced pay offer,” he said.

“This is good news for pupils, parents and teachers.

“I want to thank unions and local authorities for engaging in a positive way in the negotiations.

“The result today will give learners and parents peace of mind and together we can focus on teaching and learning.

“I am also looking forward to working with our partners on the workload-related issues which we have identified together.”

The Welsh Government has also previously committed to matching any pay offer made to teachers in England if it exceeds its own offer.

In a letter setting out the proposed deal on March 9, Mr Miles said: “I can confirm that should conversations in England result in an offer for teachers and leaders which is higher than any pay settlement in Wales, we would match the pay award.”

David Evans, Wales secretary for the NEU Cymru, said: “It is clear that a large majority of our teacher members here in Wales want to accept the deal from the minister.

“They were provided with full information about the offer and have given us a definitive steer.

“This has been a difficult time for everyone in education. Our members do not take decisions to go on strike lightly, but they had to make a stand given the continuing impact of austerity, cost of living and spiralling inflation.

“We would like to thank all the parents who supported teachers and support staff in the action taken.

“We remain disappointed that the minister made no offer to teaching assistants, but we know that we have raised the profile of the critical issues which affect everyone in education.

“Our national executive will be considering next steps in our support staff pay campaign.”

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