Teachers vote to strike in action that will close most schools

Image above: Library photograph of previous teachers’ strike in London

Schools in London will close on four days in February and March

Teachers and school support staff in the National Education Union (NEU) have voted in support of strike action, which will close or partially close the vast majority of schools in England and Wales.

Industrial action will begin with a national walk out on 1 February, coinciding with the Trade Union Congress’ national “protect the right to strike” day of action, followed by a series of regional strikes later in the month, the NEU said.

The union is striking in pursuit of its claim for a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise, after the government announced last summer that most teachers would receive a pay rise of about 5%, while starting salaries would go up by 8.9%.

The union say teachers have lost 23% in real-terms since 2010, and support staff 27% over the same period in real terms.

Support staff in England and Wales also voted in favour of striking but in England they failed to meet the legal threshold for a strike, so will not be taking part. Head teachers will not strike in England either, after a ballot by the NAHT union failed to meet the legally-required 50% turnout threshold.

Image above: Chiswick School

When will the strike days take place in London?

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023: National strike day, all eligible NEU members in England and Wales
  • Thursday 2 March 2023: Regional strike day, all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023: National strike day, all eligible members in England and Wales
  • Thursday 16 March 2023: National strike day, all eligible members in England and Wales

Teachers facing an ‘unsustainable situation’, say unions

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the National Education Union said:

“The average 5% pay rise for teachers this year is some 7% behind inflation. In the midst of a cost of living crisis, that is an unsustainable situation,”

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said:

“We would continue to call on teachers not to strike given we know what substantial damage was caused to children’s education during the pandemic and it’s certainly not something we want to see repeated”

“We would hope they would continue to discuss with us their concerns rather than withdraw education from children.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Parking attendants and CCTV operators to strike for two weeks

See also: Appeal for witnesses after sexual assault on night bus travelling through Chiswick

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