Teachers in England have once again voted to strike, next time being during the autumn term of 2023.
Amid a very long and public dispute over teaching pay, it has been announced today that members of the NASUWT union have voted in favour of industrial action again, after a spate of previous teacher strikes. There was a voting turnout of 51.9% (50% is the minimum by law), with almost 95% of voting teachers supporting a strike.
Why are the teachers striking?
For those of you unaware or perhaps unaffected previously due to your child not yet being of school age; quite simply, teachers are striking in England as due to inflation, they feel that their pay and funding is not corresponding with the cost of living. An offer from the government for a £1000 one-off payment this year followed by a 4.3% rise next year was rejected earlier in 2023, by 98% of NEU members who found the offer 'insulting'. In addition, an extra £2.3 billion for schools over the next two years and NQT salaries to increase to £30,000 was proposed and also rejected.
📢 BALLOT RESULTS 📢— NASUWT (@NASUWT) July 12, 2023
88.5% voted for strike action
94.3% voted for action short of strike action
Turnout 51.9%. pic.twitter.com/A6sInkkmCP
What will the dates of the autumn strikes be?
This is yet to be confirmed - NASUWT have said it will consider dates, to be announced once confirmed, and NASUWT will also coordinate their planned strikes to coincide with other unions where possible for maximum impact.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT's general secretary, has told the media;
"Today our members have sent a strong message to the government and to employers that teachers demand a better deal on pay and to address excessive workload and working hours.
Our members have secured the largest mandate for industrial action by the NASUWT in over a decade, exceeding the government's anti-trade union ballot thresholds. We have today written to the government and to employers confirming the prospect for industrial action in schools the length and breadth of the country from this autumn. Our members' goodwill has been taken for granted for far too long.
Excessive workload demands have become so debilitating that we have seen record numbers of teachers and headteachers leaving the profession, or reporting anxiety, work-related stress and self-harm because of the pressures of the job.
No teacher should expect to work in conditions damaging to their health and wellbeing. Ministers cannot continue to wring their hands and do nothing. Our members deserve better and pupils deserve better, too. The Government cannot continue to ignore the damaging impact that the teacher recruitment and retention crisis is having on pupils' education."
How will the autumn school strikes affect me?
The problem is, nobody knows until closer to the time as teachers by law are under no obligation to tell their headteacher of their intention to strike until the day itself - thus causing huge disruption to schooling, parents who work, and childcare. This is the intention of the strikes; to highlight the importance of schools in our society.
Once dates are confirmed, we will give you more of an idea, but unfortunately you'll need to keep in touch with your school and keep any employer informed of the situation.