The Welsh Government and the National Education Union have announced that planned industrial action by teachers in Wales has been postponed. This follows a pay offer from the Welsh Government, which is expected to be implemented for this academic year.
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Teachers were due to take industrial action on October 28th to protest their salaries, which are lower than their colleagues working in England and Scotland. Currently, the average salaries for teachers in Wales are £34,071 per year compared to £37,955 in England and £36,672 in Scotland.
Under the new agreement, teachers will receive an increase of 2% with additional increases for those at later stages of their career path as well as other payments for those taking on more responsibility. This will be the first pay rise for teachers in Wales in five years.
The new offer is expected to cost £82 million and comes after much debate between unions, government, and school administrators over how to address the salary discrepancy between Welsh and other UK teachers.
The Welsh Government said it had worked hard with unions to reach a fair agreement on teacher pay, which would positively affect the recruitment and retention of teaching staff in Wales. The National Education Union said they were pleased that the negotiations had resulted in a good deal for their members.
Both sides expressed their confidence that this settlement would help ensure better learning standards for pupils across Wales by providing stability within schools and allowing teachers to focus on delivering quality education without worrying about the financial rewards.
The new offer has been welcomed by parents and teaching unions, who hope it will help improve educational standards in Wales and ensure teachers are paid fairly for their work. The Welsh Government is confident that this deal will be beneficial for both teachers and students alike.
Following the announcement, Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “I am delighted to announce that we have secured a fair pay deal with the teaching unions, which I believe is best for all concerned. This agreement puts us in a strong position as we look towards improving education standards across Wales.” She added: “It’s important that our teachers feel valued and supported as they provide an invaluable service to our children.”
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