Education Life

Teacher strike possible in September, union says

  • April 8, 2024
  • 2 min read
Teacher strike possible in September, union says

Teachers in England and Wales may strike over pay this September, the National Education Union (NEU) has said. Members debating pay will vote on whether or not they will hold a formal strike ballot but the union’s leadership could call such a ballot even without such a backing. A strike would then require a majority in favour on a turnout of at least half.

However, further strikes would “cause more disruption to pupils,” the Department for Education has said. Last year, teachers throughout the UK went on strike including eight days by NEU members in England.

At the NEU conference in Bournemouth, general secretary Daniel Kebede said that there had been “more and more frustration developing amongst” teachers. “My view is if there is a decision to go for a formal ballot, we should conduct that over a fairly significant period of time, looking to take action in September,” he said.

Members had already been asked if they would strike over a fully-funded above-inflation pay rise as part of an informal consultative ballot in recent weeks with around 90% saying that they would be prepared to. Mr Kebede called this “exceptionally significant,” as he added that England’s Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, “has to take that seriously.”

NASUWT, the Teachers’ Union, held its own informal consultative ballot, in England. 78% of those who voted rejected a formal ballot. “Our members have weighed that up and their priority right now is not about causing more disruption to lives that are already in tumult,” General secretary Patrick Roach told its conference, in Harrogate, N Yorks, “but actually saying we need a government that’s on the side of teachers and on the side of children and young people.”

It is “looking carefully at how the government responds” to calls for a pay rise, he said. “2023 was a year of action,” he added, “this must be the year of change.”

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