Strike Actions Become Inevitable

The National Education Union (NEU) has said that further strike action in England seems “inevitable” after negotiations with the government over pay and working conditions stalled. The NEU is a joint union representing over 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders across the UK.

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The comments come as schools up and down the country face increasing pressure due to COVID-19 restrictions. Schools are already struggling with budget cuts from previous years, leading to larger class sizes and fewer resources available for pupils. Added to this is the burden of trying to educate children remotely during periods of national lockdowns.

The NEU says it has offered several alternatives which could reduce disruption for schoolchildren and parents but have been rejected by the government. The union is now preparing to ballot its members overtaking industrial action, potentially in the form of strike days.

NEU Joint General Secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “It has become increasingly clear that any meaningful negotiations with the government are off the table, and we are heading down a path of inevitable confrontation.” She added that it was only right for parents and children to be warned about potential disruption to education services if no agreement can be reached.

The Department for Education has said it would not comment on possible industrial action but is committed to ensuring all teachers receive fair pay for their hard work. However, local councils have already raised concerns about how they will handle even more budget cuts should further industrial action occur.

It remains to be seen what impact further strike action will have on the education system in England, but any disruption would come at an especially difficult time for those involved. The government and NEU must now work together to find a solution that avoids such drastic measures.

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