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Teaching union postpones strike action after pay offer from Welsh Government

Lewis Miles, 38, a teacher at Peter Lea Primary in Fairwater, Cardiff, joins protesters from the National Education Union (NEU) (Bronwen Weatherby/PA)
Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

The biggest teachers' union has suspended a planned strike in Wales after receiving a new pay offer from the Welsh government.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) were due to take industrial action on February 14.

Talks this week resulted in a new offer being put to teaching unions.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “Following continued discussions, we can confirm that an enhanced pay offer has been made to teaching and headteacher trade unions.

“In addition to the 5% pay rise, the revised pay offer comprises an additional 3%, of which 1.5% is consolidated. Also included in this revised package are a number of significant non-pay commitments relating to workload in the short, medium and long term.”

NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “The willingness of the Welsh government to engage in talks with us about the current pay dispute is in stark contrast to the position taken by Westminster and the Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan.

“We have now had a series of discussions in Wales where the focus has been on resolving the dispute, resulting in the current offer of an additional consolidated award of 1.5% this year, plus a non-consolidated lump sum of 1.5%.

“Whilst the offer remains significantly below our members' demands, and does not begin to address the real terms cuts visited upon teachers since 2010, the union will consult with our branches and workplace representatives to secure the views of members in Wales.

“In the meantime, next Tuesday's strike action will be postponed until March 2. Meanwhile, we will continue to press for a fully consolidated award and to seek an offer in respect of support staff members, who have also provided a clear mandate for action.”

Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles said: “The decision not to proceed with strike action next week is good news for pupils, parents, carers and staff.

“We also welcome that NEU and NAHT have agreed to take the new pay offer to their members and representatives.

“Discussions over recent weeks have been productive, where we have made good progress on issues such as reducing staff workload and supporting wellbeing.”

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