Members of UK’s largest teachers union vote to end strikes as they accept 6.5% pay rise


Members of UK's largest teachers union vote to end strikes as they accept 6.5% pay rise

The country’s largest teaching union has accepted a 6.5% pay rise and voted to end strikes.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) voted to accept the deal, which was made based on recommendations by the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).

The NEU had advised its members to accept the offer, which includes an extra £900m in funding for schools per year.

NEU members have held eight days of industrial action since February in state schools in England – forcing many schools to close entirely or reduce the number of classes held.

“Members have spoken very clearly and in great numbers,” Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said.

An electronic ballot of teachers saw 86% vote to accept the offer and end industrial action, with a 60% turnout.

A ballot of the union’s support staff members in England saw 85% accept the pay offer, with a turnout of 46%.

Average student debt three times higher in England than Scotland, new figures show

The NEU is one of the largest education unions in Europe and represents more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, education support staff and leaders.

Members of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) in England have already voted to accept the pay rise from September.

Members of UK's largest teachers union vote to end strikes as they accept 6.5% pay rise

Meanwhile, the NASUWT teachers’ union and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) are expected to announce their ballot results on Monday.

The government has said the 6.5% pay award for teachers will be “fully funded”, with £525m of additional funding for schools in 2023-24 and a further £900m in 2024-25.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said the NEU’s decision was “good news for teachers, good news for parents, and most of all, good news for children”.

“The deal brings an end to the disruption faced by parents and young people and means we can focus on what matters most – giving our children a world class education.

“That means tackling persistent absence and getting every child through the school gates every day, a relentless focus on closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, and continued action to help young people make up for time lost during the pandemic, she said.

Members of UK's largest teachers union vote to end strikes as they accept 6.5% pay rise

“None of that is possible without the hard work of teachers. So as a new school year approaches, I am looking forward to working closely with teachers, school leaders and teaching unions to make sure we’re tackling the issues that matter most and delivering the education that every child deserves – wherever they are in the country.”

A re-ballot of NEU teacher members in England on strike action, which opened in May before the pay offer was made, saw 95% vote to renew the union’s strike mandate for a further six months, with a turnout of 53%.

Dr Bousted and Mr Courtney said after the most recent vote: “As a democratic union, the NEU leadership promised members that any pay and funding offer given by government that warranted their consideration would be put to them.

“The NEU submissions to the STRB went a long way towards changing the government’s position on pay and funding.

“The strike action taken by our members also shifted the dial, securing the highest pay award for over thirty years. Members should be proud they have also secured extra funding for schools.”

Members of UK's largest teachers union vote to end strikes as they accept 6.5% pay rise

“The government should be in no doubt that we will hold its feet to the fire on delivering for teachers and support staff on workload and funding and continue to represent the profession in future STRB consultations,” they added.

“It remains the view of the NEU that school and college funding is far from adequate. It remains a commitment of the NEU to campaign for further increases in teacher pay.

“Everyone in the school and colleges community deserves an education system that attracts and keeps teaching staff, and one that ensures every child gets the attention and support they deserve. Our campaign for a better-funded education system will not go away.”


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.