Teaching union leaders to meet education secretary in last-minute bid to avoid strikes | UK News

Teaching union leaders to meet education secretary in last-minute bid to avoid strikes | UK News

Last-minute talks will be held on Monday in a bid to resolve a teachers’ pay dispute ahead of planned strikes this week.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) in England and Wales are due to walk out on Wednesday, with more industrial action planned in the following weeks.

Union leaders will meet Education Secretary Gillian Keegan in a final attempt to break the deadlock.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “This is the last chance to avoid the strike on Wednesday.

“However, on Friday the Department for Education failed to meet the deadline to its evidence to the teachers’ pay review body.

“We can only assume this is because they know that their recommended increase for teachers’ pay will not be acceptable to our members and will contradict the evidence they must have put in about teacher recruitment and retention difficulties.

“That said, we hope the secretary of state will bring forward concrete proposals to end this dispute and avert the strike action.”

A source close to the education secretary said she will use the meeting to reiterate her call from over the weekend for teachers to inform schools if they plan to strike.

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Teachers are ‘really cross’

The source added the government will “continue to be open and collaborative in meetings with the unions”.

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The strike on Wednesday is expected to encompass up to half-a-million workers with teachers due to be joined by train drivers, civil servants, university lecturers, bus drivers and security guards from seven trade unions in what will be the biggest day of industrial action in over a decade.

The NEU has announced seven days of strikes in England and Wales in February and March, with the walkout on Wednesday expected to affect over 23,000 schools.

Teacher members of the union in sixth form colleges in England, who have already been balloted and taken strike action in recent months, will also take action on these days in a separate but linked dispute.

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Author: Shirley