Posted: Tue 24th Jan 2023

Calls for “genuine negotiations” with unions amid warning of school closures during teachers’ strikes

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Plaid Cymru has urged the first minister to enter into into genuine negotiations with unions. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It comes after Education Minister Jeremy Miles’ comments on Politics Wales on Sunday over teachers strikes and schools closing as a result. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The National Education Union (NEU) has declared seven days of strikes throughout February and March in response to what has been described as “failure” to provide a fully-funded increase in pay for teachers which at least matches inflation ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The full list of projected strike days are as follows: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023: All eligible members in England and Wales.
  • Tuesday 14 February 2023: All eligible members in Wales.
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023: All eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.
  • Wednesday 1 March 2023: All eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.
  • Thursday 2 March 2023: All eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West.
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023: All eligible members in England and Wales.
  • Thursday 16 March 2023:All eligible members in England and Wales.

A one-off payment was offered by the Welsh Government in a bid to stop the strikes, however unions rejected the proposals and called for a fair pay deal for teachers and school staff. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Speaking on Politics Wales on Sunday, the education minister said that he expects some schools to be forced as a result of the strikes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “I completely understand and respect the strength of feeling we are seeing in these ballot results and I am completely committed to working with our partners to seek a resolution to this. ‌ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​



​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“What has been happening over the past week is the unions have been telling schools the numbers of members they have in a particular school. Headteachers as a consequence of that are making a risk assessment. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Most authorities generally want to give around a weeks’ notice to parents, of what will mean in schools. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“They will need to make judgements at a school level with local authorities around whether schools are staying open, closing or being part open.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has called on First Minister Mark Drakeford to enter genuine negotiations with the Unions. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

With teachers now joining the many other workforces going on strike, Plaid Cymru argues that a new and fairer deal for public service workers needs to be set out to address the unfairness of the pay review bodies process that we currently see. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Plaid Cymru Leader, Adam Price said: “What the Welsh Government needs to do now is show leadership on public sector pay disputes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‘With talks at a standstill, it is time now that the First Minister personally intervened, directly leading negotiations through an urgent roundtable on pay with all the unions, setting out a new and fairer deal for public service workers that addresses the basic unfairness of the current pay review bodies process and that can form the basis for an end to the disputes.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Without progress, this deadlock will continue. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Plaid Cymru will continue to stand in solidarity with all those who are striking here in Wales for fairer pay and better work conditions.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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