In England and Wales, teachers join railway workers and strike for higher pay. Today’s decision by the National Education Union (NEU) is increasing pressure on British Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
England’s biggest education union, which has around 500,000 members, justified the decision by saying the government’s five per cent pay rise was too little. The NEU declared the first day of the strike on 1 February, arguing that in view of inflation of more than ten percent, this amounted to a wage cut.
Public sector strike wave
About 100,000 public sector workers in administrations are already scheduled for early February strike action. It could be the biggest wave of concerted strikes in decades, as workers in many industries demand significantly higher wages due to high inflation. The government has already said it will not accept a large wage hike. He warned that these would increase inflation.
Education Minister Gillian Keegan expressed her disappointment at the NEU’s vote in favor of strike action. “Discussions are going on with union leaders, any strike action by a union will harm the education and well-being of students,” he said. In total, teachers will stop work for seven days in February and March.
In February, tens of thousands of nurses also plan to go on strike. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its members in England and Wales will walk off the job for 12 hours on February 6 and 7 respectively if there is no progress in pay negotiations with the government by the end of January. In mid-December, the RCN staged its first nationwide strike. More strikes are planned this week.
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