Following two further days of strike action this week by NEU teacher members across England for a fully funded pay increase, Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said:
“We are calling on the Government to publish the STRB report and restart discussions with the unions, which Government has paused since before Easter.
‘We believe that the STRB has recommended a 6.5% across the board pay rise, and if such a rise were properly funded implementing such a rise could bring this dispute to a close.
‘However, with no word from the Government about the reopening of negotiations and with rumours that the Government is intending not to implement the STRB report, the NEU continues with our re ballot of members for industrial action in September.
‘We will not be alone. Education unions ASCL, NAHT, NASUWT are also balloting members for strike action. This is an unprecedented show of determination and unity across the profession. It is an indication of the desperation and anger felt by all who teach in our schools and colleges towards a government who cares little for children and young people’s education and those who teach them.
‘The responsibility for any action in September lies at the door of the Prime Minister and the Education Secretary who continue to refuse to re-enter negotiations with education unions to reach a settlement on a fully funded pay increase for teachers.
‘No headteacher or teacher wants to be taking strike action but if there is no resolution to this dispute, strike action across England’s schools and colleges will be going ahead at the start of September.
‘The holes that are appearing in our education system after 13 years of neglect by his Government can no longer be plastered over. The Prime Minister needs to understand that the education profession and the education system is at breaking point. Years of real-term pay cuts, a chronic lack of school and college funding, enormous recruitment and retention challenges, escalating workload and working hours, and an inspection system that is doing more harm than good have all taken their toll on the profession and our children and young people’s education.
‘We urge this Government to recognise the scale of the problem and start negotiating.”