THE NATIONAL Education Union (NEU) have organised a rally in Worcester as part of a new wave of teacher strikes across the West Midlands on Wednesday (July 5) and Friday (July 7).
The NEU rally will take place on Wednesday July, 5 in Worcester City Centre, Cathedral Place from 11am to 12 noon.
The teachers union remain hopeful of forcing a pay increase above inflation after turning down a 4.5 percent pay increase and a £1,000 one off payment in April.
Members of the National Education Union (NEU), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and NASUWT also voted to turn down the offer in April.
The School Teachers’ Review Body(STRB), which makes recommendations to the government on pay, professional duties and working time for school teachers in England has recommended a 6.5 percent pay rise for teachers.
The NEU believes STRB recommendations made to the secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan will be ignored.
The strike action from education unions comes after research revealed a third of teachers had left the sector within five years of qualifying according the governments latest census and teacher vacancies are up by 55 percent in the last 12 months.
The NEU have confirmed their members are currently voting on whether to extend the campaign of industrial action into the autumn with other unions including ASCL, NAHT and NASUWT doing the same.
Pauline Browne, West Midlands regional secretary of the National Education Union, said:“It is with great reluctance that our members are taking further strike action, but teachers have been left with no choice.
“In stark contrast to Wales and Scotland, where settlements were reached months ago, the Government of England is intent on dragging its heels.
“Gillian Keegan has refused to engage and refused to meet with the education unions, in spite of the vast majority of teachers rejecting her initial pay and funding offer at the start of April.
“We want to find a solution but it seems the Government is more interested in political games.
“In moving the goalposts, the Government is infuriating teachers and letting pupils down.
“There is a crisis in education. Schools and colleges are haemorrhaging staff, and those who remain are having to work unacceptably high numbers of additional hours in return for pay which continues to worsen in value.
“The Government’s latest position is to let this continue, and to deliver yet another real-terms pay cut upon teachers.
“Gillian Keegan can avert strike action by publishing the STRB report and restart talks to find a serious solution to the dispute.”
The NEU have also carried out strike days on February 1, February 28, March 1, March 2, March 15, March 16, April 27 and May 2.
NASUWT and NAHT members were also striking in Northern Ireland on April 27.