Wales NEU picket line 1.2.23 Photo: Wales SP
Wales NEU picket line 1.2.23 Photo: Wales SP

Since this article was written NEU members in Wales have overhwelmingly rejected the offer and the strike is back on on 2 March

Catherine Peace, NEU member in Cardiff

After a well-supported, successful strike on 1 February, with a good turnout by teachers and support staff at the strike rallies that were organised in Wales, the second National Education Union (NEU) strike that was due on 14 February has been postponed until 2 March because of an offer by the Welsh Labour-led government.

The offer is extremely low. It is 1.5% to be added to the paltry 5% we had already been offered, with an extra 1.5% for this year only. The extra money is at least funded by the Welsh government, unlike the initial 5% which appears to remain unfunded. It only includes teachers and head teachers and not support staff, who have separately been offered a review by Welsh government into their pay by Welsh local authorities, with no extra money attached yet.

So far, every teacher I have spoken to thinks the offer is not enough and well below the rate of inflation. They are also concerned at letting down their support staff colleagues and fellow NEU members in England as well, if they settle for so little.

We have a Zoom meeting on the day the strike should have taken place, for workplace reps and district officers to feed back members’ views. Hopefully this offer will be rejected, and we can continue our action, as well as leading on coordinating with other unions on 15 March. We should be working towards a 24-hour general strike.