Teachers in Liverpool have walked out in a dispute over pay and services after members of the National Education Union voted to take industrial action. After the regional days of strike action across the union, this week's action is by teachers in all state-funded schools in England. We've been on the picket line at Gateacre School in Belle Vale.
Nick is an English teacher at the school, he said: “I don't like the disruption, it's short-term pain for long-term gain. I think it's a difficult decision to come out on strike. That's how strongly people feel about it. We, like doctors and nurses and so many other people, have waited a very long time without striking. There's been a pay freeze in the public sector for over a decade. It's not like everyone's just come out immediately. We've waited a long time."
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan wrote an open letter to parents. In it, she says:"I am extremely disappointed that many young people will once again miss invaluable time learning with their teachers and friends, particularly after their education was significantly disrupted during the pandemic."
She continued: "The single best thing the NEU could do for both its members and for children and young people would be to sit down and talk about pay."
Members of the National Education Union voted in overwhelming numbers to take strike action for a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise.
The joint general secretaries of the National Education Union replied to the Education Secretary, in it they said, "Last week, we, alongside the other education union leaders, asked for talks through ACAS in order to make progress. You refused to engage."
The government had said they would speak to the NEU on the condition that this week's strikes were called off. With no more industrial action on the horizon, its expected talks will be held between the union and the Department for Education.