Teachers in England, Wales announce strike over pay

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Industrial action looked set to intensify on Monday after Britain’s largest teaching union announced a series of strike days over pay next month in England and Wales.

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The National Education Union said its members voted overwhelmingly to walk out as part of calls for an above-inflation pay rise.

The announcement came as public sector workers hold a wave of walkouts for salaries to take into account double-digit inflation.

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“We believe the government knows there needs to be a correction on teacher pay,” the NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said in a live-streamed meeting with members.

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The union leaders are set to meet the education minister on Wednesday.

“They know that we mean business. They know that you are prepared to take action to protect your jobs, to protect your pay and costs and to protect your ability to remain in the profession,” added fellow joint general secretary Mary Bousted.

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It said each school will only be affected for four days.

But it will cause immediate concern among parents, who have seen their children’s education severely disrupted in recent years by the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland union on Wednesday began 16 days of rolling stoppages until February 6. There have been previous strikes in December and earlier this month.

This week nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were also due to resume strike action on Wednesday and Thursday.

Paramedics and ambulance workers are set to decide this week on further strike action, heaping pressure on the state-run National Health Service as it battles to recover from Covid delays to treatment and a staffing crisis.