The largest education unions in Britain announced on Monday that teachers in England have chosen to accept a government pay offer, supporting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s efforts to put an end to a string of disruptive public-sector strikes.
Teachers have voted to stop industrial action and accept the 6.5% salary increase proposed on July 13 by Sunak, according to the National Education Union (NEU), whose strikes have shut down British schools on several occasions this year.
“Members have spoken very clearly and in great numbers,” Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said, describing the deal as the “highest pay award for over thirty years.”
Earlier this month, the unions representing educators announced they would cancel their strike plans and encouraged voters to approve the government’s salary proposal.
Nearly 86% of the teacher members of the NEU who cast ballots chose to accept the offer and halt industrial action, according to the organisation, which represents more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, education support personnel, and leaders. Involvement was 60%.
Gillian Keegan, the British education minister, wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, “This is good news for teachers, good news for parents, and most of all, good news for students.”
The majority of members who answered to a consultation survey and accepted the salary award, according to the teachers’ union NASUWT, accepted it. The union issued a dire warning, urging further action against “excessive workload and long working hours.”
The agreement has also been accepted by two smaller British teaching unions.
As pay increases fall short of rising inflation, Britain is experiencing its worst wave of industrial unrest in years, notably among railway workers.
Healthcare workers, whose walkouts have damaged an already overburdened state-run health system with thousands of cancelled appointments, continue to oppose Sunak’s salary offer.