Teachers could down tools in autumn if an agreement is not reached over a pay rise (Picture: Getty)
Teachers could take strike action in the autumn as overwhelming anger mounts over plans for a 5% pay rise.
Teaching union NASUWT, which is calling for a 12% increase, warned it is committed to balloting members for industrial action in the autumn if the proposed pay deal remains unchanged.
Some 70% of 9,000 teachers in England and 80% of 700 surveyed in Wales said the current proposal should be dismissed as unacceptable.
NASUWT general secretary, Dr Patrick Roach, said members had been clear in demanding the below-inflation pay award is rejected.
The offer is ‘yet another pay cut for teachers’ which will inflict ‘greater damage to the morale of the profession’, he said.
‘The Government’s proposals fall way short of what teachers are demanding, following a decade of real terms pay cuts and the current cost-of-living crisis,’ Dr Roach warned.
‘Ministers have refused to respond to our calls for proper negotiations and, once again, we are calling on ministers to get around the table to find a solution.
‘However, in the event that there is no improvement, the union remains committed to balloting its members in the autumn term for industrial action.’
The union is finalising its response to consultations on pay by the Westminster and Welsh governments.
A Department for Education (DoE) spokesperson said: ‘We have accepted the recommendations of the independent School Teachers’ Review Body for the coming academic year and are awarding teachers the highest pay awards in a generation – 8.9% for new teachers outside London – alongside a 5% award for experienced teachers and leaders.’
The pay award is a ‘responsible solution’ recognising teacher’s hard work and balancing the cost-of-living crisis and school budgets, the spokesperson said.
‘By contrast, double-digit pay awards for public sector workers would lead to sustained higher levels of inflation, which would have a far bigger impact on people’s real incomes in the long run,’ they added.
But teachers are among a number of public sector professions who have threatened to down tools over pay concerns in what has been dubbed Britain’s summer of discontent.
Almost 1,900 workers at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk will stop work on August 21 in a move expected to hit 40% of the UK’s container imports – sparking fears of a return to empty shelves.
The strike was called after Unite trade union said the port failed to up its offer of a 7% pay rise.
NHS workers, pictured during a protest in Downing Street calling for a pay rise to match the inflation rate (Picture: Hesther Ng/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock)
Meanwhile short-notice strike action has seen train operator Avanti West Coast, which runs on the west coast mainline between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, slash timetables, with passengers braced for widespread delays from this weekend.
And following the biggest rail strike in modern history, some 40,000 workers from the RMT union are also set to walk out again from Thursday, August 18 and Saturday, August 20, in a dispute with Network Rail and numerous train companies.
To add to commuter misery, a tube strike is also scheduled for the Friday in between.
The government announced in July that more than 1million NHS staff including nurses, paramedics and midwives would receive a pay rise of at least £1,400.
The lowest earning workers, including porters and cleaners, would receive a 9.3% increase.
Earlier this week it was announced nurses will vote on whether to strike over the ‘pitiful’ offer – as the NHS is ‘on its knees due to chronic understaffing’.
The pay rises are all below the current rate of inflation which surged to 9.4% in June, the highest level since February 1982.
And food prices are rocketing to 9.8% – branded a ‘disaster for poorer households’ by living standards think tank, the Resolution Foundation.
Refuse collectors in the borough of Newham in east London will stage a week-long strike – meaning rubbish will be left to fester during a sweltering heatwave – unless a deal is reached for a ‘significant’ pay increase.
Unite said 99% of members including drivers, loaders and sweepers voted in favour of industrial action from August 27 to September 3.