NEU teachers’ union asks members to consider strike action which could see schools across North Northants close again this year

The ballot opened on Saturday, March 2 and will remain open until Friday, March 29
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The National Education Union (NEU) is asking members to consider strike action later this year, which could see more school closures across North Northants.

The NEU’s preliminary online ballot opened on Saturday, March 2 and will remain open until Friday, March 29. The purpose of the ballot is to ask its members whether or not they would be prepared to strike.

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The NEU launched their preliminary electronic ballot for teachers to make sure educators get a fully funded, inflation-plus pay increase and that the Government commits further funding to improve staffing levels in schools and colleges.

NEU rally outside the Corby Cube, March 2023NEU rally outside the Corby Cube, March 2023
NEU rally outside the Corby Cube, March 2023

Last year, hundreds of thousands of teachers stood up for education and went out on strike.

In North Northamptonshire alone there are nearly 3,000 NEU members who voted in numbers to take strike action against the government.

There was a series of school’s closures right across North Northants which had a massive impact on students' education.

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Simon Rielly, branch secretary at North Northants NEU, said: “We don’t want to see strikes across North Northants, we want to see a fully funded education system. Our children are being let down. According to the School Cuts website 70 per cent of schools have had their funding cut since 2010.

“For millions of children, these cuts have led to larger class sizes, reduced subject choice, limited SEN and alternative provision places and less individual support.

“For teachers, it has meant more real terms pay cuts, unmanageable workloads, and less time to teach each child.

“This Government has overseen and deepened the worst crisis in education for a generation.”

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Last week the Government’s evidence to the review body that recommends teacher pay stopped short of putting a figure on the pay rise ministers think teachers should get, but said teachers’ pay needs to return to a ‘more sustainable’ level.

Phill Monk, district secretary North Northants at NEU, said: “This is barely concealed code for another real terms pay cut for teachers, with no extra funding for schools and colleges to halt cuts and improve staffing levels.

“Education staff are leaving the profession in droves and there aren’t enough coming in to replace them. Desperate school staff shortages result in huge gaps in the number of subject specialist teachers needed to teach our children properly.”

If NEU members vote in significant numbers, a decision will be made at NEU National Conference in April to progress to a formal industrial action ballot. This will impact schools across North Northants on the build up to exam period.

Simon said: “In general election year members are determined to stand firm again, to demand fair pay, decent school funding and fight for the education system our pupils deserve.”

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