Signs of union split over pay strike

Tes is reporting that members of the national executive of the National Education Union’s NUT section are pushing for national industrial action over last week’s teacher pay award.

In a statement seen by Tes, at least 19 members of the body state their “total rejection of the teachers’ pay announcement”. And conversations with executive members have made it clear that strikes are being considered.

The statement says: “It is important to make clear that this is not an award that we can welcome and it does not represent a success for our members.”

It goes on to call for: “The preparation of an indicative and then, subject to enough support, a formal ballot of members for a campaign of national action in pursuit of our pay claim, fully funded, and a statutory limit on the working hours of teachers.”

But the language contrasts with that of Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, from the ATL section of the union, who last week wrote that “we must not lose sight of some hard-fought gains in this pay round”.

This week, he told Tes that the award, which includes £508 million of government funding and a real-terms pay rise for teacher on the main pay range, had increased the chances of strike action.

He said: “Perversely, it makes it more likely because, yes, a lot of teachers are getting 3.5 per cent, but it’s a minority.

“We think that something like two-thirds of teachers are on the upper pay spine or leadership spine, certainly over 60 per cent, and the reaction I’m picking up as national exec member, certainly from upper spine teachers, is that this is really unacceptable.”

Read the full article Signs of union split over pay strike

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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