TEACHERS across south Warwickshire are joining national strike action tomorrow (Wednesday).
Members of the National Education Union will be downing tools to secure a fair pay settlement for educators and proper funding for schools.
There will be picket lines outside many schools and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU will join Warwickshire NEU members outside Myton School in Warwick at their picket line.
Kevin Courtney will then speak at the Warwickshire NEU Strike Rally at Dale St Methodist Church Hall. He 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.
The postal workers’ union, the CWU, who 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.
Schools in the area are endeavouring to stay open with reduced staff numbers and with some year groups home learning.
The NEU’s strike action is not about a pay rise, say members, 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.
A NEU spokesperson continued: “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 the county’s children with larger class sizes, less money to meet the needs of children with SEND, dilapidated buildings and fewer recources, all leading to severely reduced educational opportunities for our children.
“The consequences of this are clear for parents and children.”
A NEU spokesperson added: “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. It is a day where hundreds of thousands of workers will be saying that our public services are under threat and that they have been left with no alternative but to take this action.”