The National Education Union can confirm the outcome of three separate ballots, each of which closed on Friday 28 July 2023.*
- An electronic ballot of the NEU’s teacher members saw 86% vote to accept the progress made and end industrial action on a turnout of 60%.
- An electronic ballot of the NEU’s support staff members saw 85% accept on a turnout of 46%.
- The re-ballot of teacher members in state funded schools in England for strike action starting in the autumn term, which opened in May, saw 95% of members vote YES on a turnout of 53%.
- The electronic ballot votes mean that further strike action over 2023/24 pay will not now go ahead in the autumn term.
A full breakdown can be found in the editor’s note.
Teacher members of the NEU have taken eight days of strike action in England state schools between February-July 2023.
On 13 July, the Government published the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) report on teacher pay. It recommended a 6.5% pay increase from September. Despite briefing that this would not be honoured, the Government has now agreed to fully implement the STRB recommendation on all pay points and allowances. The increase was then put to NEU, ASCL, NAHT and NASUWT members.
The 6.5% pay increase is for teacher members in state funded schools in England. The electronic consultation did not include sixth form college teacher members, who have also been in dispute with Government about pay and funding.
Commenting on the results of the three ballots, Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said:
“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. Members have spoken very clearly and in great numbers.
“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.
“The engagement of members over pay has been high throughout this campaign, and our decisions have been led by them at every turn. The re-ballot for strike action comfortably passed the Government’s highly restrictive thresholds. Turnout for the electronic ballots on the latest pay and funding offers was also strong. This is a compelling case for trade unions in the 21st century, as well as collective action with sister unions, and it is time for the Government to get out of the dark ages and end the practice of mail-only ballots.
“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. 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.”
An electronic ballot of teacher members in England, to consult members on the 6.5.% pay increase, opened on 18 July.
The options put were:
- I ACCEPT the offer as progress made by our action and agree that the union should end its current strikes.
- I REJECT the offer and am willing to undertake more extensive strike action in shorter periods of time.
154,987 members voted ACCEPT (86%)
25,541 members voted REJECT (14%)
An electronic ballot of support staff members in England, to consult members on the funding offer, opened on 19 July.
The options put were:
- I ACCEPT the funding offer as progress we have made and agree the union should not take any further nationwide industrial action.
- I REJECT the funding offer and am willing to undertake extensive strike action in short periods of time.
18,800 members voted YES (85%)
3,312 members voted NO (15%)
A statutory ballot (or ‘re-ballot’) of 303,331 teacher members in England to continue strike action, opened on 15 May.
The question put was: “Are you prepared to take part in strike action in furtherance of this dispute?”
153,340 members voted YES (95.35%)
7,483 members voted NO (4.65%)