Teachers in England, under the umbrella of the National Education Union (NEU), on Wednesday embarked a nationwide strike in protest over the increase in emoluments.
Many schools in England are closing for the day as teachers walk out again on the sixth national strike this year in England. Another one is scheduled for Friday. About five months ago, teachers boycotted classrooms and the action resulted in about a 5% pay rise for the year 2022-23. This time, the teachers are calling for above-inflation increases, plus additional money to ensure any pay rises do not come from schools’ existing budgets.
BBC reports that with the latest action all lessons and end-of-term events such as sports day, concerts and school trips could be disrupted.
And with more strike ballots taking place, schools are bracing for further disruption in the new school year.
Latest reports from England do not indicate there are talks underway between the unions and the Department for Education (DfE), and there is no obvious resolution in sight. There have been deadlocks in recent months.
After intensive talks in March, the government offered teachers an additional one-off payment of £1,000. It also offered a 4.3% pay rise for most teachers next year – with starting salaries reaching £30,000.
The NEU, and three other unions involved in the dispute, rejected the offer – which means the one-off payment is now off the table.
As schools returned for the summer term, all four announced they would join forces to coordinate any future strike action.