Teacher strikes next week could be SCRAPPED by unions in 'sign of goodwill' ahead of pay talks | The Sun

TEACHER strikes next week could now be scrapped by unions as a "sign of goodwill" if ministers budge on pay.

Bosses would recommend to the NEU's executive that walkouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday should be paused.

A statement said: "We welcome the commitment to substantive and formal talks to resolve the dispute – which is fundamentally about pay and funding this year. 

"In a sign of goodwill, if substantive progress can be made, we are prepared to recommend a pause to strikes next week to our National Executive Committee this Saturday.”

Last night Education Secretary Gillian Keegan invited unions to fresh wage negotiations – on the condition they halt strikes.

The NEU snubbed the olive branch and said it was "nothing substantial" to get them to back down.

But in a screeching u-turn this afternoon the militant union signalled it could return to the table and call off the strikes.


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The NEU has been demanding ministers increase last year's 5 per cent pay rise to meet double-digit inflation.

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Ministers have not ruled out revisiting last year's offer in the negotiations, but want to focus on the upcoming pay review.

The Department of Education last night said a 3.5 per cent hike would be "affordable".

Climbing down from their position last night, co-general secretaries Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney said: "We are ready to begin negotiations now.

"We are prepared to negotiate every day, and throughout the weekend, to make progress. 

"But the government is not willing to begin negotiations until the NEU agrees, prior to the commencement of negotiations, to pause its action next week."

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