Education Unions Accept Pay Rise, Avert Co-ordinated Strike Action in England

Education Unions Accept Pay Rise, Avert Co-ordinated Strike Action in England

The threat of co-ordinated strike action by four education unions in England during the autumn has been averted as members voted to accept a 6.5% pay rise for teachers and school leaders.

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The decision comes after several months of disputes between the National Education Union (NEU), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the NASUWT teaching union, and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

Let’s delve into the details of the acceptance of the pay offer and its implications.

Acceptance of Pay Rise Offer by Unions:

The NEU, the UK’s largest teaching union, saw a substantial majority of its teacher members (86%) vote to accept the government’s pay offer, effectively calling off the planned strikes.

Similarly, the NAHT, in its online ballot, recorded 85% of members voting in favor of the 6.5% pay award for 2023-24.

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The NASUWT teaching union also indicated its willingness to accept the pay offer, with 77.6% of members participating in a consultative survey supporting the decision.

Education Secretary’s Response:

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan welcomed the acceptance of the pay rise by the unions, describing it as “good news” for teachers, parents, and students.

Keegan believes that the agreed-upon deal will put an end to the disruption faced by schools in England and will allow the education system to focus on providing a world-class education to children.

NASUWT’s Ongoing Concerns and Potential Future Action:

While the prospect of co-ordinated strike action by all four unions has been ruled out for now, the NASUWT has not completely abandoned the idea of taking action in the autumn.

The union expressed its commitment to pursue industrial action, including potential actions short of strikes, to address concerns over excessive workload and working hours.

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NASUWT members emphasized that they still feel more needs to be done to address their demands for pay restoration and immediate action to tackle workload issues.

Impact on Future Strike Action:

Both the NEU and NAHT secured mandates for strike action in the next six months.

However, given the acceptance of the pay offer, these unions have indicated that any walkouts over pay will not proceed in the autumn term.

NAHT’s general secretary, Paul Whiteman, acknowledged that the unions’ actions and collective efforts have compelled the government to address the profession’s concerns, leading to a resolution that members can accept.

Conclusion:

The acceptance of the 6.5% pay rise offer by the education unions in England has averted co-ordinated strike action, bringing relief to parents, students, and educators alike.

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While the NASUWT remains cautious and committed to addressing ongoing concerns through other means, the focus can now shift to providing a quality education and bridging the gap for students after a period of disruption caused by disputes over pay.

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