Will private school teachers strike this week? How independent schools are affected by February 2023 strikes

Will private school teachers strike this week? How independent schools are affected by February 2023 strikes

Final talks are taking place today to resolve a teacher pay dispute that threatens to jeopardize schools across the country.

Union leaders meet with Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to avoid Wednesday’s planned strike action.

Hundreds of thousands of teachers across England and Wales will leave in February and March unless the National Education Union (NEU) and the Government can reach a last-minute salary agreement.

In Scotland, members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) have taken part in industrial action earlier this year, with further strikes taking place today and planned for February.

Strike action is also planned in Northern Ireland.

Mass strikes involving half a million workers, including teachers, train drivers and civil servants, will take place on Wednesday.

who is on strike

Teachers in England and Wales who are members of the NEU are to strike for seven days in February and March.

The strike dates of the NEU in England and Wales are:

  • Wednesday 1 February 2023: all eligible members in England and Wales.
  • Tuesday 14 February 2023: all eligible Members in Wales.
  • Tuesday 28 February 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: Northern, North West, Yorkshire & The Humber.
  • Wednesday 1 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: East Midlands, West Midlands, Eastern.
  • Thursday 2 March 2023: all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West.
  • Wednesday 15 March 2023: all eligible Members in England and Wales.
  • Thursday 16 March 2023: all eligible Members in England and Wales.

In England, however, school principals will not go on strike because a vote by the NAHT union failed to achieve the 50 percent turnout required by law.

According to the BBC, the union has said it is considering a rerun of the election, citing alleged disruption from postal strikes.

NAHT members in Wales will take ongoing action to prevent a strike from Wednesday 1st February.

The NEU is the UK’s largest education union. The strike is said to affect 23,400 schools in England and Wales.

The action means many schools in England and Wales could be closed or partially closed for several days.

The UK Government says school leaders, or the local authority that manages the school, “will take all reasonable steps to keep the school open to as many pupils as possible”.

It has also proposed online classes to minimize the disruption caused by the strikes.

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What about other parts of the UK?

There is a series of strikes in Scotland and after the February school holidays there will be two days of nationwide strike action for all members on Tuesday 28th February and Wednesday 1st March.

Strikes in Scotland by members of the EIS are as follows:

  • Monday 30 January: Aberdeenshire & Borders
  • Tuesday 31 January: Highland & West Lothian
  • Wednesday 1 February: Clackmannanshire & Aberdeen
  • Thursday 2 February: Dundee & Argyll and Bute
  • Friday 3 February: South Lanarkshire & Western Isles
  • Monday 6 February: Inverclyde & Shetland
  • Tuesday 28 February: all local chapters
  • Wednesday March 1st: all local chapters

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, members of NASUWT will go on strike on Tuesday 21 February over “the failure to offer teachers fair and reasonable pay”.

NASUWT calls for a fully funded 12 percent salary bonus for 2022-23.

The action consists of a half-day strike on the morning of February 21st. This is followed by an action campaign without strikes in all publicly funded schools.

Many teachers have been offered 3.2 per cent for 2021-22 and 2022-23 in Northern Ireland, according to the BBC.

And in Scotland, teachers have turned down both a 5 per cent increase and a recent offer of up to 6.85 per cent.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, teacher salaries in England fell by an average of 11 per cent in real terms between 2010 and 2022, factoring in rising prices.

writing in Sunday telegraphThe education minister said she was “disappointed” that the strike would go ahead on Wednesday.

However, she added she hopes to continue “constructive discussions” on issues like pay.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of NEU, told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “Teachers are at the end of their rope. They are undervalued, they feel underpaid, they are completely overworked.”

Will private school teachers go on strike?

According to telegraphWinchester College – the alma mater of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – has become the first public school to join the teachers’ strike in a dispute over wage increases and pensions below inflation.

The NEU, which represents the school’s staff, confirmed that it had collected enough votes for a teachers’ strike.

Staff at Radley College, a boys’ boarding school in Oxfordshire, are also seeking union recognition. This would allow them to vote for strike action in the future, the NEU said.

Last year, staff at 23 private schools run by the Girls’ Day School Trust left in a pension dispute.

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