The National Education Union and other unions have paused strike action for two weeks after talks began today (17 March) with the Department for Education.
In a statement, the NEU, Association of School and College Leaders, National Association of Head Teachers and the NASUWT said the talks would focus on “teacher pay, conditions and workload reduction”.
“In order for talks to begin and, we hope, reach a successful conclusion, the NEU has confirmed it will create a period of calm for two weeks during which time they have said no further strike dates will be announced,” the statement said.
“The education secretary and all the unions will meet today, beginning intensive talks, which will continue over the weekend.”
Teachers in Scotland accept pay deal, ending strike action
Government suggests 3.5% public sector pay increase for 2023-24
A series of strikes were announced in January, with the latest walk-outs seeing many schools close this week on 15 and 16 March.
Last Friday, teachers in Scotland accepted a pay deal after the Educational Institute of Scotland agreed a deal that would see their pay increase 12.3% next month, comprising a backdated 7% increase from April 2022 and a 5% increase from this April.
Strike action in Wales has also been paused, while the NEU consults members on an increased pay offer of 8% for this year, and 5% for next year.
The NEU in England is seeking an above-inflation pay increase without this having to come from existing budgets for schools. Most state school teachers had a pay rise of 5% in 2022, but the current rate of consumer price index (CPI) inflation is just over 10%.
The NEU ballot lasts until the end of term in July, so the union could announce new strikes until then if pay negotiations do not succeed.
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