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NASUWT’s General Secretary Urges Education Secretary to Recognize the Gravity of the Pay Dispute

Patrick Roach, the general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), has called on Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to exhibit “ministerial competence” in handling the ongoing teachers’ pay talks. Speaking at the union’s annual conference in Glasgow, Roach warned Keegan about the “consequences” of refusing to reopen negotiations. He urged her to take responsibility for the current pay dispute after teachers rejected the one-off payment of £1,000 for 2022/23 and an average 4.5% salary increase for 2023/24.

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Union’s Intention to Ballot for Strike Action

Roach confirmed that the NASUWT had informed Keegan of its plans to ballot for strike action. He emphasized that Keegan was the one who initiated the negotiations and must take charge in completing the process. He added that Keegan cannot ignore her duty to solve the problems that her predecessors had created. He also cautioned her that she should not count on the pay review body to suggest a below-inflation pay award. Roach called on Keegan to return to the negotiating table and agree to a fair deal.

NASUWT Joins Other Education Unions in Rejecting Westminster’s Pay Offer

The NASUWT is the fourth education union to reject Westminster’s pay offer. The National Education Union (NEU), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) have also rejected the offer. In the union’s consultative ballot, 52.4% of the 130,000 eligible membership in England participated, with 87% rejecting the offer and 77% in favor of strike action.

Funding Issues: Union Chiefs Criticize Government’s Stand

Union chiefs have criticized the government for suggesting that the bulk of the 4.5% pay increase should come from existing school budgets. Roach warned that Keegan could face industrial action on a significant scale before the end of the academic year if she did not act fast. He added that while this would be unfortunate, it was not entirely unexpected.

Government’s Response: A Standoff Looms

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson expressed disappointment that the unions are re-balloting for more strike action. The spokesperson defended the government’s position, saying that the government had negotiated in good faith and had offered teachers a £1,000 payment, a reduction in workload by five hours per week, and a headline pay increase of 4.5% for next year, which is above both inflation and average earnings growth. The offer was funded, including major new investment of over half-a-billion pounds. The spokesperson added that the rejection of the offer by the NEU, NAHT, ASCL, and NASUWT would only result in more disruption for children and less money for teachers today

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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