Teachers in Wales to consider strike action

By Dylan Davies   |   News editor   |
Friday 1st July 2022 11:05 pm
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Female primary school teacher helping a young school boy sitting at table in a classroom, close up, selective focus
(stock.adobe.co )

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TEACHERS in Wales are considering going on strike if they do not receive a 12 per cent pay rise.

Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union across Wales, will be balloted for industrial action if they do not receive a 12 per cent pay award, the union has announced.

At the NASUWT Cymru Annual Conference in Llandudno an emergency motion calls for a September ballot “if the Welsh Government falls far short of a 12% pay uplift.”

After what the union describes as 12 years of erosion to their pay, teachers are facing the biggest squeeze on their living standards in half a century, the NASUWT is calling for the award this year.

The motion states that “whilst the Welsh government has not sanctioned a pay freeze as in England, pay rises in Wales are still extremely poor and the time has come for teachers to collectively demand the closure of the pay gap that has cut teachers’ pay by 20 per cent over the last 12 years.”

NASUWT members from across the UK took part in a demonstration two weeks ago, marching for a better deal for teachers as part of a national cost of living rally in Central London.

NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “Teachers are suffering, not only from the cost of living crisis, which the whole country is grappling with, but 12 years of real terms pay cuts which has left a 20 per cent shortfall in the value of their salaries.   

“If the Welsh Government and the pay review body reject a positive programme of restorative pay awards for teachers, then we will be asking our members whether they are prepared to take national industrial action in response.   “Teachers will not simply stand by as their pay continues to be eroded and if a pay rise is not awarded, it will be won by our members in workplaces through industrial action.”

NASUWT National Official Wales Neil Butler added: “Teachers have given their all through a pandemic, they are grappling with a cost of living crisis and their pay is nowhere near adequate in the face of the sharpest fall in living standards for decades. We recognise that pay in Wales is marginally better than England.

“But marginally better is nothing to boast about. It does not address the pay gap, it does not address inflation. The Welsh Government cannot hide behind ‘marginally better.’

“Teachers deserve so much better and we will step up our fight for teachers to have the pay, working conditions and respect they deserve which will support the continued delivery of high quality education for every child and young person.”

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