Tomorrow, National Education Union members will be on strike in pursuit of a fully-funded, above-inflation pay rise.
This follows an initial day of strike action on 1 February. Members in the NEU North West region will take action on 28 February 2023.
Workplaces across Wirral with picket lines are St Werburghs Catholic Primary School, Birkenhead; Somerville Primary School, Wallasey; Weatherhead High School, Wallasey; and Devonshire Park Primary School, Birkenhead.
Peter Middleman, NW Regional Secretary of the National Education Union, said, “Despite a full month to come to the table with concrete proposals on pay, Gillian Keegan has done nothing to resolve our dispute.
“At our meeting on 15 February, she made no offer. A week later, the Department for Education’s submission to the STRB showed that it was business as usual. It is the Government’s wish to offer yet another real-terms pay cut in 2023/24.
“The responsibility to avert further strikes rests with the education secretary, and she has failed.” Gillian Keegan has called a series of meetings with education unions in recent weeks, but her latest proposal was to meet only on the condition that we call off strikes. In the absence of anything for us to take to membership for consideration, we are unable to agree to these demands.
“If her comment in the letter of 21 February is correct, that she has agreed with the Prime Minister and Chancellor to talks to resolve the dispute, then such an offer should now be in her gift.” Our members have broken through the threshold for ballots. They have bravely taken strike action already, and our membership has grown by 49,000 since the ballot result was first announced. The strength of feeling is all too clear. Enough is enough.
“The government’s education policy is driving the current recruitment and retention crisis. A fully funded, above-inflation pay rise would make a significant difference. It would ensure children are taught by those who specialise in the subject they are delivering and stop the brain drain which leads to pupils seeing a revolving door of teachers over the course of a year.”
“We regret having to take strike action and the disruption it causes, but it is also self-evident that disruption to education is now part of a pupil’s daily life. This is the point we have repeatedly made to the education secretary. It is time for her to come up with solutions.”