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NEU indicative ballot: Members back strike action over pay

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) have backed strike action over pay and funding in an indicative ballot.

The vote only just reached the turnout threshold that would need to be met in a formal ballot to authorise walkouts.

The indicative ballot was announced in January amid fears among unions that the government will only raise pay by between 1 and 2 per cent from September.

Today, the NEU announced that among voting members in England, 90.3 per cent said they supported strike action. The turnout was 50.3 per cent.

In a formal ballot, unions must achieve a 50 per cent turnout and have 40 per cent of eligible members voting in favour to call legal strike action.

The formal ballot last year that prompted strikes in the spring saw 90.44 per cent voting to strike, on a turnout of 53.27 per cent.

Its second ballot in the summer was won with a 95 per cent yes vote, on a turnout of 53 per cent. However, further strikes were not called after members voted to accept the 6.5 per cent pay deal.

Daniel Kebede

NEU general secretary Daniel Kebede said: “This is an indicative, and not a formal ballot.

“But the facts speak for themselves; over half of our members voted in the ballot and overwhelmingly supported a move to a formal ballot to secure a fully funded, above inflation pay rise which constitutes a meaningful step towards pay restoration.

“The result demonstrates the mass discontent within our profession to which the government should take notice. Urgent steps are required to tackle the crisis in education and our members know this.”

The union’s executive will meet at the NEU’s annual conference in Bournemouth next week, “and delegates will determine the next steps in our pay and funding campaign”.

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