Teachers to go on strike for another two days in July, union says

Teachers will go on strike for another two days this school term, the National Education Union has announced.

The union’s national executive said two walkouts by its members will take place on Wednesday 5 July and Friday 7 July.

Members of the NEU previously went on strike on three dates in February and three dates in March.

The strikes are part of a long-running dispute between unions and the government over pay.

The NEU is currently re-balloting its members to see if they want to continue taking industrial action for the rest of the year.

The other education unions – ASCL, NAHT and NASUWT – are also balloting their members for strikes over pay and funding for teachers in England.

The unions have warned of co-ordinated action in the autumn term if there is no settlement to the dispute.

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Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the National Education Union have said it is within Education Secretary Gillian Keegan’s “grasp for this action to be halted”.

They have said Ms Keegan can avoid the strikes by publishing the School Teacher’s Review Body’s (STRB) recommendation on pay and then “entering substantive talks” to reach a settlement with unions which will end the dispute.

They added in a statement: “Time and again the National Education Union, alongside its sister unions, have called for the education secretary to get around the negotiation table to settle this dispute for a fully-funded teacher pay increase.

“Time and again our calls have fallen on stony ground.

“The education secretary refused to re-enter negotiation on the grounds that she and her department were waiting for the publication of the School Teachers’ Review Body’s (STRB) recommendation on pay.”

Read more:
I’m a teacher – here’s why I voted to go on strike
When and why NEU members are striking

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The NEU said the minister had received the body’s report and recommendations, but would not comment on speculation that it was suggesting a 6.5% pay rise.

The union leaders said they were worried that the government was contemplating not implementing the report or not funding it properly.

They added that the education secretary says she will “publish the report in her own good time, which by her department’s recent record will be at least another month”.

Their statement continues: “This causes huge uncertainty for schools and is hugely disrespectful to headteachers. None are able to properly plan for next year.

“Unlike her counterparts in Scotland and Wales where the pay disputes have been settled, this education secretary has wilfully turned her back on teachers in England.

“No one wants to take strike action but when faced with an education secretary who clearly has no interest in settling this dispute, teachers are left with no option.”