3 April: UK’s NEU members vote to organize more strikes over pay dispute.
The National Education Union (NEU), the largest education union in the UK, has announced two days of strike action in the summer term after rejecting a pay offer from the government.
The union said that 98% of its members who voted in a ballot were opposed to the deal, which included a £1,000 one-off payment this year and a 4.3% increase next year. The union also said that the offer was not fully funded and did not address the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.
The strike dates are Thursday 27 April and Tuesday 2 May, but the union said that exam classes would not be affected. The union urged the government to reopen negotiations on pay and to respect the recommendations of the pay-review body, which suggested a 3% rise from September 2023.
The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, said that the offer was fair and reasonable and that if it was turned down, the £1,000 payment for this year would be lost.
Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the NEU, said that the offer was unacceptable and that teachers deserved better. They said that they had been in contact with head teachers to ensure that GCSE and A-level students would not be disrupted by the strike action.