“Abysmal” – Teacher’s Union Threatens Strikes Amidst Growing Frustration

Amidst mounting frustrations, teachers in England and Wales consider potential strikes as the National Education Union warns of ongoing discord with policymakers, highlighting pressing issues of pay and funding. Here’s the full story. 

Cost of Living Crisis

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The cost-of-living crisis, high inflation, and the UK economy being officially in recession have made it more difficult for families to get by up and down the country. 

Food Banks

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Following the recent announcement that serving police officers are left with no choice but to use food banks, the sheer scale of the crisis in what was once considered decent, well-paying jobs is becoming more apparent. 

New Strikes

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More recently, teachers across England and Wales have announced that they may prepare to strike again over the ongoing tensions affecting those in the profession. 

National Education Union

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Daniel Kebede, the General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), has warned that a recent indicative ballot granted a significant mandate for industrial action, reflecting the mounting discontent among teachers. 


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As the general election draws closer, Kebede has warned that the education sector is mired in a “poly-crisis.” He has urged policymakers to heed teachers’ concerns to avoid a collision course with the government. 

150,000 Teachers

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Nearly 150,000 teachers participated in the indicative ballot, signalling a resounding call for potential industrial action. 

Pay and Funding

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The results of this ballot reflect a profession increasingly dissatisfied with the status quo, particularly regarding issues such as pay and funding.

“Burning Down The House”

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Kebede was at pains to stress the gravity of the situation, blaming the Conservative government for “burning down the house” through inaction and inattention as they focused more on the upcoming general election than on the student’s education and teachers’ needs. 

“Absolutely Abysmal”

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Kebede also described a meeting with Education Secretary Gillian Keegan as “absolutely abysmal.”

Uncompromising Language

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Such uncompromising language highlights the growing frustration with the political disregard for teachers’ concerns. 

“More Sustainable”

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The government’s recent submission to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which failed to call for a pay increase but instead argued for a “more sustainable” education budget, has further exacerbated the underlying tensions within the profession. 

Considering Options

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The NEU’s leadership, conscious of the gravity of the situation, is considering its options carefully. 

Emergency Motion

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While an emergency motion at the annual conference stops short of a formal strike ballot, it emphasizes the importance of campaigning for a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise. 

“A Formal Ballot”

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However, when asked about the possibility of a formal strike ballot, Kedebe again did not mince his words: “Should conference commit us to a formal ballot, I will absolutely be fighting for that and putting all efforts into that campaign.”

Bipartisan Warning

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The union’s stance carries significant political implications, serving as a warning to both the Conservative and Labour parties.

“Prepared to Act Industrially”

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The conference motion is, similar to Kedebe, also uncompromising in its language: “Conference believes the strongest use of the ballot at this moment is to serve notice on Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer that members are prepared to act industrially if they fail to deliver.”

“Campaign Against Them”

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It continues: “Conference understands that Labour will likely form the next government. Whilst we will be able to work with a Labour government on some policy areas, we will need to campaign against them on others.”

“Pay and Funding”

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Kebede refused to rule out strikes, stating, “The priority is that we win on the issue of pay and funding. The campaign will remain, and industrial action will remain a tactic that could be deployed to win on the issue.”

Low Turnout

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Regarding the low turnout for the latest ballot initiative, Kedebe was similarly resolute, stating, “We have to absolutely consider the amount of work it would take to get through this government’s anti-democratic threshold in the context of a formal ballot. I don’t think, however, the mood is declining.”

Setting Fires

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He continued, “I think, if anything, there’s becoming more and more frustration amongst the profession. They are realizing this government is burning down the house as they leave government.”

“Take Action in September”

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Regarding the timing of potential strikes, Kebede stated, “My view is if there’s a decision to go for a formal ballot we should conduct that over a fairly significant period of time, looking to take action in September.”

Unions Should Engage

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For its part, the Department of Education sounded similarly unwilling to back down, stating, “The independent STRB is currently considering evidence for this year’s pay award. Unions should engage with this process instead of striking before they even know what the pay recommendations are.”

“Disruption to Pupils”

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It added: “Further strike action would cause more disruption to pupils who have already lost over 25m school days due to last year’s industrial action. Overall school funding is rising to over £60bn in 2024/25, its highest ever level in real terms per pupil – and teachers have already benefited from two historic pay awards totaling over 12% in just two years.”

Deep Seated Frustrations

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The looming spectre of potential strikes underscores the deep-seated frustrations within the teaching profession in England and Wales. 

Further Strikes

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As educators demand fair treatment and adequate resources from a government that has taken its eye off the ball, the genuine possibility of further strikes looms large over the British political landscape once again. 

The post Teacher Turmoil: Union Threatens Strikes Amidst Growing Frustration first appeared on Swift Feed.

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