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NEU teacher strikes planned for next week called off in Wales

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NEU teacher strikes planned for next week called off in Wales

Following negotiations between the National Education Union (NEU) and the Welsh Government, a new, revised and fully-funded pay offer will be put to teacher members.

As a result, the strike days scheduled in Wales next week on Wednesday, March 15, and the following day, have been called off.

In England, those strike days remain in place.

Why have the teacher strikes been called off?

Since January 19, the NEU have said, there have been constructive talks between the union and the Welsh Government in seeking to secure a resolution to the pay dispute.

A previous offer, which prompted the postponement of a strike on February 14, was rejected.

The revised pay offer includes:

  • An additional three per cent pay award for 2022/23 – 1.5 per cent consolidated and 1.5 per cent non-consolidated;
  • A recommendation that the 2023/24 pay award effective September 1, 2023 be increased to five per cent. This to be fully funded;
  • A no detriment principle so that should there be a higher pay settlement in England, Wales would match that pay award.

Taken over two years for teachers on all spine points, the pay offer is worth 11.8 per cent consolidated plus the 1.5 per cent non-consolidated payment.

All eligible teacher members in Wales will be consulted via electronic ballot.

Talks will continue with Welsh Government on a range of other issues important to NEU members, such as school funding, and workload including the pressures generated by Estyn and the accountability requirements of Consortia.

What have the NEU said?

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: “We thank the Welsh Government for the constructive manner in which they have pursued a solution to the current dispute over pay.

“It is vital that we do all we can, together, to combat the recruitment and retention crisis and ensure that more people join the profession and stay in the profession.

“The Welsh Government recognises this and has also understood the importance of the pay offer being fully funded.

“They have also committed to working with us on tackling workload.”

David Evans, Wales secretary for the NEU Cymru, added: “We have had lengthy negotiations with the Welsh Government, and sought clarity, which we did not have a few weeks ago.

“That this is a fully-funded offer will be a relief to our membership.

“We remain disappointed that the minister was unable to make a cash offer for support staff, but at least he is now acknowledging the workload challenges there.”

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