Teachers Unite: The Fight for Fair Pay in England and Wales

Unification and unity among teachers in England and Wales!” The National Education Union (NEU), the largest education union in the UK, is standing tall and calling for action. On Wednesday, teachers in England and Wales will embark on a powerful strike, kicking off seven days of industrial action in pursuit of a well-deserved pay rise, funded by the government rather than out of existing school budgets.

The value of teachers’ salaries has suffered a major blow over the past decade, causing a recruitment and retention crisis in schools. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that senior teachers have experienced a devastating 13% real-terms drop in salaries, equivalent to a £6,600 pay cut. Meanwhile, inflation continues to rise.

The government may have offered a pay rise of about 5% with starting salaries up by 8.9%, but NEU members are determined to fight for a fair and just compensation that acknowledges the crucial role they play in shaping the future of our children. The union has estimated that 23,400 schools will be affected over the seven days of action, with each school facing a maximum of four days of closure.

As the powerful strike action unfolds, parents should be aware that striking teachers are not required to give advance notice, so some schools may not have a full picture until early on Wednesday morning. Nevertheless, some headteachers have already informed parents that their schools will be closed, while others have advised parents to check in the morning. It is crucial for parents to plan accordingly and make necessary arrangements for childcare, take annual leave, or work from home.

Striking teachers do not have to set work for strike days and will not be delivering lessons remotely. While some schools may have told parents that teaching will go online, with many staff members absent, the coverage may be patchy. This strike action is a bold stand for what is right, and NEU members are sending a clear message to the government: they will not accept anything less than a fair and just pay rise.

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