Teachers' preliminary online ballot confirmed 2-28 March 2024
Last year, in your hundreds of thousands, you stood up for education.
Our Pay Up strike action secured a funded 5 per cent consolidated increase in teachers’ pay and an extra 1.5% non-consolidated lump sum payment and key concessions on workload. This was on top of an award of 6.5% consolidated increase for 2022.
But those gains have not stopped the crisis in our schools.
Education staff are still leaving the profession in droves. And there aren’t enough coming in to replace them.
On school funding, the news is no better. There is no extra money to fix the shocking state of our school estate, where water pours in through leaky ceilings, where mould and peeling paintwork are regular features of classroom walls.
In short, education needs us to step up again.
Following its December Budget Statement and the implications for the Independent Wales Pay Review Body (IWPRB), the Welsh Government is clearly gearing up for a below inflation teacher pay award for 2024. Even a paltry award would likely not be properly funded in most schools, purring education provision and school workforce jobs at risk.
This will not fix the problems with recruitment or fill all the vacancies our schools have.
Last year, your collective action forced the Welsh Government to put more money on the table.
As little more than a meagre pay rise is on the cards, unless the Welsh Government changes tack, we will be opening an indicative ballot for teacher members on Saturday 2 March – asking you to back a further round of strike action to show the Welsh Government that we are once again prepared to stand up to save our schools.
And as soon as we know the National Joint Council (NJC) employers’ 2024-25 pay offer – expected in late February – your national executive has also agreed to consult our support staff members over their willingness to strike with NJC unions to support their pay claim and alongside teacher colleagues to address funding and job concerns.
If members vote in significant numbers, a decision will be made at national conference in April to progress to a formal ballot.
Last year, your faith and dedication won more funding for schools and a significant uplift in your pay.
In 2024, we need you to stand firm again, to demand fair pay, decent school funding and fight for the education system our pupils deserve.