Teachers have voted for seven days of rolling strikes in February and March.
Following a vote by balloted members of the National Education Union (NEU), 90% of members in England backed the walkouts. The turnout was 53% of members.
In Wales, the turnout was slightly higher (58%) with approx. 92% of members voting for strike action.
The NEU is the UK’s biggest teaching union and they asked approx. 300,000 teachers to vote in favour over a dispute in pay and working conditions.
Strike action may cause some schools across the country to close if they do not have enough staff to safely teach children.
So, why are teachers striking?
Teachers in England and Wales are striking in a dispute over pay. The government is offering a pay rise of 5% which is around 1/2 the current rate of inflation. The NEU wants an increase of 12% to combat the rising issue of inflation, cost of living and what is perceived to be real-term pay cuts.
In a statement released by the joint general secretaries of the NEU, they have said “This is not just about a pay rise but correcting historic real-terms pay cuts. Teachers have lost 23% in real-terms since 2010 and support staff 27% over the same period. The average 5% pay rise for teachers this year is some 7% behind inflation. In the midst of a cost of living crisis, this is an unsustainable situation”.
During the last nationwide strike in 2016, 11% of schools closed and 20% partially closed.
When are the strike dates:
Wednesday 1st February 2023 – all eligible members in England and Wales
Tuesday 14th February 2023 – all eligible members in Wales
Tuesday 28th February 2023 – all eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber
Wednesday 1st March 2023 – all eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern
Thursday 2nd March 2023 – all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West
Wednesday 15th March 2023 – all eligible members in England and Wales
Thursday 16th March 2023 – all eligible members in England and Wales
Teachers Pay & Conditions:
The starting salary for a newly qualified teacher is at least £28000 and this is set to rise to £30000. In Inner London the starting salary is more; at least £34500. Teachers receive annual pay rises through an independent pay review process, and many teachers can also see greater uplifts by progressing through the scales.
Teachers pensions are among the best and safest available – and they come with a 23.6% employer pension contribution. By contrast, in the private sector 47% of employees receive an employer contribution of less than 4%. Teacher contributions start from 7.4% to a maximum of 11.7%.