UK teaching unions threaten autumn strike

Britain’s main teaching union has threatened strike action this autumn if the government doesn’t agree to a 12% pay rise for its members to derail inflation.

National Education Union and NASUWT-Teachers Union appeal to Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi, citing surge living cost And the impact of a decade of real cuts to teachers’ salaries.

Strike threats clash with Boris Johnson’s Conservative government as it tries to limit public sector pay demand as headline CPI inflation rises reached 9.1% Fuel and many basic food items saw double-digit gains on Wednesday.

In a letter to Zahawi on Wednesday, the NEU laid out its rationale for the 11.7 percent increase, saying the figure was in line with current retail price inflation (RPI), which it believes is a better measure of the price of goods in stores.

It added that the pay rise was essential to address the sharp rise in secondary school teacher vacancies and curb the flood of teachers. Employee leaving within five years of qualification.

NEU co-secretaries Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney said they would vote for members of the strike action if the government did not take “adequate action” and “strongly encourage” them to vote yes.

“You must deal with the new economic reality of double-digit inflation and the threat this poses to teachers’ living standards. We call on you to commit to increasing the inflation markup for all teachers,” they wrote.

The demand comes two days after NASUWT called for a 12% pay rise this year, warning the industry faces an “existential emergency” after 12 years of actual pay cuts, saying its salaries have shrunk in value by 20% in fact.

“We will not allow pay cuts to our members and attack their pensions,” said NASUWT Secretary General Patrick Roach. “If pay raises are not granted, our members will win pay rises in the workplace through strike action. salary.”

Unions say falling wages and increased workloads are responsible for rising teacher vacancies and premature departures, undermining the government’s efforts to increase staff numbers.

“By the end of three years, a quarter of teachers have left, and by the end of five years, a third of teachers have left,” Busted and Courtney wrote to Zahavi. “You can’t escape the numbers and the reality behind them.”

Both unions said they would await the government’s response to the school teacher review body’s pay recommendations, expected by the end of the school year.

The government has recommended a 3 per cent increase in evidence to the agency, but unions say this predates the recent spike in inflation. The STRB’s recommendations are not binding on the Minister.

Zahavi said the government would consider the independent pay agency’s advice, but warned the strike would hurt the chances of students who have already lost their studies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are proposing the highest pay in a generation for new teachers – 16.7 per cent over the next two years – while providing more pay for more experienced teachers and leaders.

“Young people’s education is more disrupted than any past generation, and it’s the teachers’ vital job to help them get back on track. The last thing I – or any parent – ​​want to see is any possible Things that undermine this progress,” he said.

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