Warwickshire teachers to take part in strike rally action in Leamington and Warwick this week
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Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), will join teachers at the picket line outside Myton School in Warwick and later speak at a rally at Dale St Methodist Church Hall in Leamington on Wednesday (February 1).
Those striking hope to secure a fair pay settlement for educators and for proper funding for schools from the Government.
Mr Courtney will be joined on the platform by striking Warwickshire NEU teachers and by representatives of the PCS, UCU and RMT unions who will also be on strike that day. A representative from he postal workers’ union, the CWU, whose members have been taking strike action over the last few months, will also be speaking.
Staff at the DfE and at Ofsted will also be striking on Wednesday.
Emma Rose, a senior vice-president for the NEU and district secretary of the Warwickshire branch of the union, said: “Since the result of the NEU's ballot, over 34 000 educators have joined the NEU - this really should give the government pause for thought, as it shows the strength of feeling amongst educators.
“The NEU’s strike action is not about a pay rise but about correcting historic real-terms pay cuts. Teachers have lost 23 per cent in real-terms since 2010, and support staff 27 per cent over the same period. The average five per cent pay rise for teachers this year is some seven per cent behind inflation.
"In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, that is an unsustainable situation, especially considering the recruitment and retention crisis that many schools and colleges will recognise.
"Teachers are leaving the profession in droves, a third gone within five years of qualifying and the government has once again missed its recruitment target for teacher training courses - by 40 per cent in secondary education.
“Reduced budgets in Warwickshire schools are leading to a serious crisis in educational provision for Warwickshire’s children with larger class sizes, less money to meet the needs of children with SEND, dilapidated buildings and fewer resources, all leading to severely reduced educational opportunities for our children.
"We regret having to take strike action and are willing to enter into negotiations at any time and place, but this situation simply cannot continue.
“This is the biggest day of strike action across the country for many, many years."
The Government says it still committed to a "fair and sustainable pay deal", adding that it has has already agreed to provide an extra £2billion in school funding, "which will take real-terms spending on schools to its highest level in history".