Commenting on today’s strike action by NEU members, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"It is with regret that the NEU has had to take another day of strike action over the issue of a fully-funded pay increase for teachers. Gillian Keegan needs to come forward with a better pay and funding offer if she is to avert further strikes. As it stands, she has taken her ball home with her and refuses to engage. This is irresponsible in the extreme and is a complete failure by the education secretary and Government to recognise the damage they are doing to education and the profession.
"Gillian Keegan has achieved nothing this past month other than to bring the teaching profession together. 98% of NEU members rejected her pay and funding offer on a two-thirds turnout. Three other unions have received similarly overwhelming verdicts from their membership. In total, four education unions will now carry out ballots this summer term with a view to co-ordinated action in the autumn term.
"The Department for Education should be in no doubt that teachers are fully committed to securing a resolution to the pay dispute. It is inescapable that something must change. It is beyond argument that the Government is missing its teacher training targets by an enormous gap, and that teachers are leaving in great numbers. This is an unsustainable situation, brought on by devalued pay, high workload, and persistent underfunding of schools over 13 years.
“Gillian Keegan needs to accept the role and responsibility she has as Education Secretary and restart the negotiations with unions that she appears to have entirely abandoned.”