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Mar 27, 2023
Teaching Unions Consider New Pay Offer to End UK Strikes
(Bloomberg) -- The UK has taken a step toward ending months of public sector strikes after the head of an education union said it would consider a new pay offer for teachers and other school staff in England.
The National Association of Head Teachers “will be considering the details of this offer this evening,” Paul Whiteman, its general secretary, said in an emailed statement Monday.
The offer raises hopes of an end to walkouts that have shuttered schools periodically and had a knock-on impact on working parents. The Department for Education didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Education unions had demanded a fully-funded, above-inflation pay rise for teachers and support staff. The NAHT and other labor groups — the NEU, NASUWT and Association of School and College Leaders — had been locked in talks for over a week with government ministers and officials.
Pay for experienced teachers has fallen by one fifth in real terms since 2010, according to the NEU, and many are leaving the profession due to heavy workloads and long hours.
Read More: UK School Strikes Pause for ‘Intensive Talks’ After NHS Pay Deal
The offer to education unions is another positive step for the government toward ending wider industrial action that has caused chaos across Britain for months. Earlier in March, ministers offered a 5% pay rise and a one-time bonus to nurses, midwives and ambulance workers in England, which is being considered by health union members.
But talks broke down with junior doctors, who will strike again for four days next month, threatening the worst disruption to England’s struggling National Health Service since walkouts began in December.
Meanwhile more than 1,000 passport office workers are set to go on strike for five weeks ahead of the summer travel season.
(Updates with context throughout.)
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