TEACHERS have called off proposed strike action next week following a pay offer from the Welsh Government.
Members of the National Education Union Cymru and the NAHT Cymru were due to hold two days of industrial action on Wednesday, 15 and Thursday, 16 March.
Following negotiations with the Welsh Government, a new, revised and fully-funded pay offer will be put to teacher members.
As a result, the strike days scheduled in Wales next week (15 March and 16 March) have been called off.
In England, those strike days remain in place.
A previous offer, which prompted the postponement of a strike on 14 February, was rejected.
The revised offer includes an additional three per cent pay award for 2022/23 – 1.5 per cent consolidated and 1.5 per cent non-consolidated; a recommendation that the 2023/24 pay award effective 1 September 2023 be increased to five per cent. This to be fully funded and a no detriment principle so that should there be a higher pay settlement in England, Wales would match that pay award.
Taken over two years for teachers on all spine points, the pay offer is worth 11.8 per cent consolidated plus the 1.5 per cent non-consolidated payment.
All eligible union members in Wales will now be consulted via electronic ballot.
Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said: “We thank the Welsh Government for the constructive manner in which they have pursued a solution to the current dispute over pay. It is vital that we do all we can, together, to combat the recruitment and retention crisis and ensure that more people join the profession and stay in the profession. The Welsh Government recognises this and has also understood the importance of the pay offer being fully funded. They have also committed to working with us on tackling workload.”
David Evans, Wales Secretary for the National Education Union Cymru, added: “We have had lengthy negotiations with the Welsh Government, and sought clarity, which we did not have a few weeks ago. That this is a fully-funded offer will be a relief to our membership. We remain disappointed that the Minister was unable to make a cash offer for support staff, but at least he is now acknowledging the workload challenges there.”
Laura Doel, director of school leaders’ union NAHT Cymru, said: “We welcome the offer from Welsh Government on pay, workload and funding.
“This is a positive move but we still have concerns about some elements about the funding of the offer, particularly when we know some Local Authorities have not funded the current existing 5% pay award. We are working to resolve this at pace and our Welsh Executive will meet on Monday to discuss next steps.
“It is not unreasonable to ask the employers to demonstrate how pay awards are being funded when our members are telling us otherwise.”