The National Education Union (NEU) has recently declared two additional strike days in schools across England, scheduled for the 5th and 7th of July.
This announcement comes after teachers in England rejected a pay offer put forth by the government earlier this year, which included salary increases and additional funding for reducing workload.
In April, members of the NEU, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and NASUWT voted against the proposed pay offer.
The rejected offer consisted of a 4.5% average pay rise from September 2023, along with a one-time payment of £1,000 for the current academic year (2022-2023).
It also included investments to reduce workload by five hours per week.
The pay review process for teachers’ salaries for the next academic year is currently underway, with recommendations being made by the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).
However, as the STRB focuses solely on next year’s pay, teachers will not receive the one-off payment for the current year (2022-2023).
The initial pay offer, subject to rejection, followed extensive discussions between the unions and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan.
The proposal included an average pay rise of 4.5% from September 2023, with a starting salary of £30,000 for new teachers outside London.
Additionally, a one-time payment of £1,000 was offered for the ongoing academic year.
The unions’ rejection also extended to the creation of a task force aimed at reducing workload by an average of five hours per week for teachers and school leaders.
It is important to note that the proposed pay offer was fully funded, with schools allocated an additional £620 million in 2023-2024 to cover the one-time payment and salary increases.
The government emphasized that schools have already received significant additional funding, totaling £2 billion, and affirmed their commitment to ensuring that a 4% pay award for teachers remains affordable.
School funding is projected to rise above inflation levels for the upcoming years.
The NEU has responded to the pay offer by scheduling strike action on the 5th and 7th of July in various schools across England.
The union’s decision reflects the ongoing discontent among educators regarding the proposed pay package and their commitment to advocating for improved working conditions and fair remuneration.
As the strike action unfolds, it remains to be seen how negotiations between the unions and the government will progress.
The education sector eagerly awaits a resolution that addresses the concerns of teachers while ensuring quality education for students across England.