Teachers in Wales expected to go out on strike as union prepares to announce ballot results
The National Education Union (NEU Cymru) is preparing for strike action next month, as the union’s ballot results are set to be announced today.
The NEU, which represents teachers and support staff, expects to get over the 50% turnout threshold for industrial action.
The NEU has said walkouts in England and Wales could begin at the end of the month after more than 300,000 teachers and support staff were asked to vote in a dispute over pay.
The union will have to give two weeks’ notice of any industrial action.
Union Secretary David Evans told BBC Radio Wales this morning that the “union’s own tracking and database” suggests it will reach the ballot threshold, and that an overwhelming majority of members have voted in favour of strike action.”
Evans has also stated that strike action could begin as early as February, with the union putting pressure on the government to meet their demands for higher pay.
He said: “We want to put pressure on the Welsh government to make sure that our member’s requests are met.”
He said industrial action could begin in early in February, “we’re looking at whether or not there will be some days where all members will be out across England and Wales and other days we’ll have rolling plans of action.”
The union is seeking a 12 per cent pay rise for its members, citing years of austerity measures and inflation as reasons for this demand.
The Welsh government has offered a 5 per cent pay rise, but the NEU is demanding more, stating that this amount does not do enough to restore the pay levels of teachers to what they were in 2010.
The union also claims that Wales has been ‘inadequately funded’ for many years, and is calling on the government to ensure that Wales receives its fair share of funding.
The Welsh government has responded by stating that there is no more money available, and that finances are tight at the moment.
This potential strike action comes on the heels of nurses in Wales also being offered a one-off payment from the Welsh government, and highlights the ongoing tensions between public sector workers and the government over pay and funding.
The union is urging the Education Minister in Wales “to come to the table and have talks with us.”
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