Teacher strikes: schools in Lancashire could face Autum strikes as teachers vote for industrial action
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Members of NASUWT, The Teachers’ Union across England have voted in favour of industrial action over pay, workload and working time.
NASUWT say 88.5% of eligible members in state-funded schools in England have voted to support strike action, with 94.3% voting in support of action short of strike action, based on an overall turnout of 51.9%.
The Union has confirmed today (July 12), that it intends to issue notice of a programme of continuous action short of strike action commencing in September, details of which will be announced shortly. Dates for strike action in the autumn term will also be considered by the Union, coordinated with other education unions where possible.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “Today our members have sent a strong message to the government and to employers that teachers demand a better deal on pay and to address excessive workload and working hours.
“Our members have secured the largest mandate for industrial action by the NASUWT in over a decade, exceeding the government’s anti-trade union ballot thresholds.
“We have today written to the government and to employers confirming the prospect for industrial action in schools the length and breadth of the country from this autumn.
“Our members’ goodwill has been taken for granted for far too long. Excessive workload demands have become so debilitating that we have seen record numbers of teachers and headteachers leaving the profession, or reporting anxiety, work-related stress and self-harm because of the pressures of the job.
“No teacher should expect to work in conditions damaging to their health and wellbeing. Ministers cannot continue to wring their hands and do nothing. If the Government won’t take the action needed to end excessive workload and working hours, we will take action in workplaces across the country to protect our members.
“Our members deserve better and pupils deserve better, too. The Government cannot continue to ignore the damaging impact that the teacher recruitment and retention crisis is having on pupils’ education.
“The Government must urgently resolve teachers’ demands for concrete measures to tackle excessive workload and working hours and to secure real terms pay restoration.
“The Government must stop playing politics, publish the report of the School Teachers’ Review Body and put an end to the damaging speculation they have allowed to develop over recent weeks.
“The STRB’s recommendation of a 6.5% pay award for teachers and headteachers, which has been widely reported, is the minimum to which our members are entitled. However, NASUWT members are clear that teachers deserve better than just another real terms pay cut.
“The Government is ultimately responsible for teachers’ pay and working conditions and Ministers must now get back to the negotiating table to agree a deal that will command the support of our members.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said:“Further strike action will cause real damage to pupil learning and even more disruption for parents right across the country. Thousands of schools have received significant additional funding as part of the extra £2 billion of investment we are providing both this year and next, which will take school funding to its highest level in history next year.
“We recognise and value the hard work of teachers, but we must balance pay offers with the need to make responsible decisions that are affordable so we can continue to tackle inflation.
“As part of the normal process, the independent School Teachers’ Review Body has submitted its recommendations to government on teacher pay for 2023/24. We will be considering the recommendations and will publish our response in the usual way.”
A larger union, the National Education Union (NEU), has already held seven national strike days since February and is re-balloting members for more action in the autumn.