NASUWT has vowed to “mobilise” its members for national industrial action if the government fails to “restore” teacher pay, becoming the second teachers’ union to put strikes on the table.
At its annual conference in Birmingham today, NASUWT voted through an emergency motion, warning ministers they could face strike action if they do not boost pay.
It comes after the National Education Union voted at its conference earlier this week to hold an indicative ballot of members if the government reaches an “inadequate” pay settlement.
Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has proposed a 16 per cent rise in teachers’ minimum salaries over the next two years, to achieve his party’s election pledge of a £30,000 starting salary.
However, more experienced teachers and leaders will only see their pay increase by around 5 per cent over the next two years. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned the plans will leave most teachers 5 per cent worse off in real terms.
Union wants 12% pay rise next year
NASUWT said the government’s decisions had “slashed teachers’ real terms pay by at least 19 per cent since 2010”, and called for increases for all teachers of 12 per cent in 2022, 10 per cent in 2023 and 8 per cent in 2023.
Like the NEU’s motion earlier this week, NASUWT’s motion stops short of demanding a formal ballot for strike action.
However, it instructs the union’s executive to “mobilise members for national industrial action, up to and including strike action, in the event that any government or administration fails to deliver a programme of restorative pay awards for teachers”.
“Now is the time for our trade union movement to take action against pay injustice and in response to the cost of living crisis,” the motion reads.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT’s general secretary, said over a decade of cuts to pay “cannot continue to be endured by the profession”.
“Conference has delivered a clear message that ministers will be responsible for any disruption caused by their failure to deliver an immediate programme of restorative pay awards for teachers.”