A school classroom with desks and chairs

Sixth form teachers across England have voted to take action strike action in a dispute over pay. The move comes as a result of a ballot conducted by the National Education Union (NEU) in response to a pay offer from the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA)

According to the NEU, sixth form college teachers have received a 20 per cent real terms pay cut since 2010. Meanwhile, the pay offer from the SFCA would see most teachers receive a pay rise of just 5 per cent, well below the current rate of inflation. NEU members are calling for a pay rise above the rate of inflation.

88.5 per cent of NEU members balloted voted in favour of strike action on a turnout of 63 per cent. If the dispute now escalates to a strike, it would be the first national walkout in the sector since 2016. Currently, the first planned day of strike action is due to take place on November 30.

Commenting on the result of the ballot, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said,

“The close of this ballot is well timed, as it is just a few days ahead of the Chancellor’s latest budget statement on 17 November. It is hoped that Gillian Keegan will quickly use her influence as education secretary to make the case for sixth form colleges.

“The sector has suffered real-terms pay cuts in the region of 20% since 2010. Further below inflation pay increases are simply unacceptable to our members. Strike action is always taken with great regret, but the sentiment of this ballot result is clear: enough is enough.

“The government must listen and take notice of the effect real-terms pay cuts are having on our members, and, if we continue down this unsustainable path, the consequences that their leaving the profession will have on both the sector and the young people they teach.”

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