Thursday 26th January 2023
½ Million workers will be on strike on the TUC National Day of Action to Protest the Right to Strike.
This includes teachers, train drivers, civil servants and university lecturers
The Government’s response to nearly a million workers striking for fair pay? Smash their right to strike!
On Wednesday 1st February, 4 major unions (NEU, PCS, UCU and ASLEF) will be striking, representing ½ million workers nationally. More than a million public sector workers have already voted overwhelmingly for strike action during this period in reaction to the Government’s arbitrary and unreasonable pay cut policies, though not all will be out on strike on this day.
Those striking include 300,000 school teachers who are members of the National Education Union (NEU). The NEU is demanding a fully-funded, above inflation pay rise, but the Government has only offered an unfunded 5% increase which will have to come out of existing school budgets. NEU teacher members voted overwhelmingly for strike action in England: a 90.44% majority voted YES on a turnout of 53.27%. NEU support staff in schools voted by an 84.13% majority for strike action on a turnout of 46.46%, but have been denied the legal right to strike because of the Government’s unfair and undemocratic threshold.
The NEU says “This is not about a pay rise but correcting historic real-terms pay cuts. Teachers have lost 23% in real-terms since 2010, and support staff 27% over the same period. The average 5% pay rise for teachers this year is some 7% behind inflation. In the midst of a cost of living crisis, that is an unsustainable situation.”
Many Sheffield schools will be forced to close because of the strike action and others will have to close some classes if they remain open.
“This crisis is entirely the fault of the Conservative Government which has declared war on public sector workers,” said Martin Mayer Secretary Sheffield Trade Union Council. “After 12 years of vicious pay restraint, to offer paltry single figure pay rises when inflation is between 10 and 13% is totally unacceptable and unreasonable – and the workers have had enough!”
“We cannot stand by and see this authoritarian Conservative Government further erode our right to strike” said Martin Mayer, “It’s time to end their unsustainable, unfair and unpopular pay restraint policy. We demand fully funded inflation-linked pay rises for all public sector workers.”