Teachers in England and Wales vote for strike action over pay
The Tories have told teachers to end their “ideological war” and stop the strikes that will keep millions of children out of school this week.
MPs were left fuming after the National Education Union said sorry for the proposed walkouts on Wednesday and Friday, instead of calling them off.
In a TV interview on Saturday, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “I want to apologise to parents and say the last thing teachers want to do is lose two more days’ wages – they are not paid enough as it is – and disrupt their children’s education any further.
“But we are at a crisis point. This year, the Government is going to miss its secondary training places by over 50 percent, we have one million children being taught in classes of over 30 and we have amongst the highest numbers in the developed world alongside Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.”
This week’s strikes will take the total number of days of action in English and Welsh schools this year to 10.
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Meanwhile, unions have warned the walkouts could go on until Christmas.
Tory MP Jonathan Gullis said of Ms Bousted’s apology: “If the NEU really meant this, they should call off these disruptive strikes and drop the ideological war against the Government.
“The Conservative Government wants to put pupils and parents first. The NEU should do the same”.
Teacher vacancies have doubled in the past two years, according to the most recent figures for England. More than 40,000 have left their jobs in the last year.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is expected to spell out a set of plans next week to help boost standards in schools and stem the “exodus” in the teaching profession.
They include qualification requirements, simpler incentive payments and better job development.
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