Teachers in England have accepted a government pay deal and called off strikes in the autumn after 86% of NEU members agreed to a 6.5% wage increase.
The UK teaching union made the announcement following the closure of three ballots on Friday (28 July), revealing that the new offer is the highest pay award for more than 30 years.
Since February, NEU members in England have completed eight days of strike action, forcing the closure of many schools. The union had been re-balloting teachers on more strikes but now says no further industrial action will be taken.
Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the National Education Union, said: “As a democratic union, the NEU leadership promised members that any pay and funding offer given by government that warranted their consideration would be put to them. Members have spoken very clearly and in great numbers.
“The NEU submissions to the STRB went a long way towards changing the government’s position on pay and funding. The strike action taken by our members also shifted the dial, securing the highest pay award for over 30 years. Members should be proud they have also secured extra funding for schools.
“The engagement of members over pay has been high throughout this campaign, and our decisions have been led by them at every turn. The re-ballot for strike action comfortably passed the government’s highly restrictive thresholds. Turnout for the electronic ballots on the latest pay and funding offers was also strong. This is a compelling case for trade unions in the 21st century, as well as collective action with sister unions, and it is time for the government to get out of the dark ages and end the practice of mail-only ballots.
“The government should be in no doubt that we will hold its feet to the fire on delivering for teachers and support staff on workload and funding and continue to represent the profession in future STRB consultations. It remains the view of the NEU that school and college funding is far from adequate. It remains a commitment of the NEU to campaign for further increases in teacher pay.”
Kate Palmer, HR advice and consultancy director at HR consultancy firm Peninsula, added: “This news will be welcomed by employers in England given the knock-on effects for businesses caused by the teachers’ strikes. Employers may have felt some disruption due to employees requesting amended working patterns or last-minute annual leave requests to look after their children who would otherwise have been at school.
“Although today’s announcement will probably be seen by many to be a positive step, it’s important to remember that this decision only relates to one union.
“Employers should continue to support employees who have children at schools where teachers from other unions take future strike action and balance this with their business needs.”