Possible Strike Action by the National Education Union
Members of The National Education Union (NEU) – the biggest education union have voted in favour of strike action. Parents are understandably anxious to know how it will affect them and their children. There are so many questions parents need the answers to, including – will my child's school close? When will the strikes take place?
The unions say teachers are 'hugely mindful' of the impact on pupils of a strike, but believe that the current situation with pay and resourcing in schools, and the knock on impact of teacher retention is not tenable and say these strikes are the 'last resort.'
This was a hard decision for many teachers to take. They do not want to be on strike. They want to be in the classroom, doing what they do best – teaching and supporting children.
A trade union can only call for industrial action if a majority of its members vote in favour of such action in a properly organised ballot, which is what has happened. Of teachers in the NEU in England, 90.44 per cent of members taking part in the ballot voted YES to taking industrial action on a turnout of 53.27 per cent.
This is not a school or local issue – it is a National dispute.
The strike is over a pay rise given in 2022. Most teachers were given a 5% pay increase last year, but unions say that this isn't in line with inflation, which means that teachers have actually had a real-terms pay cut. The unions want a fully funded pay rise not one which comes from the existing school budget and takes away money from what should be planned to be spent on school resources and infrastructure.
It is for Headteachers to decide whether a mainstream school should close during a strike, or whether it should partially or fully close. This decision is dependent on the numbers of staff who will be on strike within a school and the impact this has on health and safety. The strike dates that will affect All Saints' are: Wednesday 1st February, Thursday 2nd March, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March. I will keep you updated about what the situation will be at All Saints' as soon as more information is available. However, I suggest you make contingency plans now in case the school has to be closed.
Best wishes from Mr Bridges
Headteacher, All Saints' Primary School