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Monday, January 30, 2023

UK teachers may go on strike as PM Sunak battles to contain unrest

World NewsUK teachers may go on strike as PM Sunak battles to contain unrest

Teachers could join millions of UK workers taking industrial action as Prime Minister Rishi Singh’s administration battles to contain rising worker unrest over pay that has struggled to keep pace with rising inflation. Failing.

The National Education Union is set to announce the results of the strike ballot at around 5pm on Monday, with general secretary Mary Boustad confident the vote will meet the required minimum threshold. The union will then have two weeks to notify employers before taking action, allowing time for negotiations. The Head Teachers’ Union will also announce the results of the ballot.

“The biggest problem is that we have a workforce crisis in our schools,” Boustad told Sky News on Monday, urging the government to negotiate pay. “We want to go in and have serious negotiations, because the last thing my members want to do is strike action.”

A vote in favor of strikes would put more pressure on Sync, whose management is already grappling with industrial action by nurses, ambulance drivers and rail workers. A teacher strike could hit the broader workforce, forcing parents to stay at home.

Nurses plan to strike again on Wednesday and Thursday, with ambulance workers planning a walkout next week. On February 1, nearly 100,000 government employees announced plans to join industrial action. A further 30,000, including 28,400 from HM Revenue and Customs, the tax authority, began voting for strike action over pay, pensions and job protection, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union.

Pay claims.

The NEU vote comes after only 42% of members voted in a ballot for another teachers’ union, the NASUWT. This meant that although 9 out of 10 votes cast were in favor of industrial action in state schools, the vote was not correct. Nevertheless, the union secured a mandate for strikes in more than 130 private schools.

Teaching unions argue that the 5% pay rise offered to most teachers fails to keep pace with inflation of more than 10%, while they say cuts of 20% in real terms over the past decade have reduced staff. has moved.

But the Conservative government has taken a hard line on pay, saying higher pay awards risk fueling inflation. Sink’s administration has also angered unions by proposing legislation to limit strikes and ensure minimum service levels in key industries.

The controversial bill will return to the House of Commons on Monday amid uproar from the opposition. The Labor Party is opposing the legislation and is seeking to fast-track the government’s efforts through parliament. Leader Keir Starmer has said he will repeal the law in government if it is passed.

‘Full Frontal Assault’

“This flawed, unenforceable bill will do nothing to help working people or prevent strikes,” deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said in a statement.

Under the proposed law, fire, ambulance and rail services would require minimum service levels on strike days, with the government consulting on the appropriate level of coverage. Health care, education, denuclearization, border security and other modes of transportation will be subject to voluntary agreements.

Far from averting strikes, the legislation will only “make matters worse,” Trade Union Congress general secretary Paul Novak said in a statement. He called it a “full-frontal assault on the right to strike” that was proceeding “without proper consultation or scrutiny”.

There have been some signs of progress after ministers met with unions last week in an attempt to end the dispute.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper told the BBC that reforms were needed to “free up money” alongside pay rises, but suggested the government had flexibility over phasing out train guards. , the services should be left under the control of the train driver only.

British Medical Association chair Philip Banfield, whose union has voted for members to take action, told Sky News on Sunday that strikes were “absolutely not inevitable” and that his health secretary Steve Barclay’s The first meeting with “wasn’t as negative as I expected.”

Barclay signaled flexibility last Monday, saying he was prepared to back the next pay increase for health workers to cover part of the current fiscal year.

While government officials see a deal on the railways as closer to one on health care, senior Tories – aware that nurses benefit from considerable public sympathy – have called on Sink to give them more. Offer a generous salary. An Opinion poll at the weekend found that 57% of British nurses supported a strike, with 31% opposed. Net support for industrial action by ambulance workers is +17%, while for railway workers, it is minus 7%.

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