Education ‘will grind to halt’ unless pay rises address recruitment crisis, union leader warns – UK politics live

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National Education Union leader says morale among teachers is at ‘an all time low’ in radio interview

Good morning. Rishi Sunak’s first year in office was blighted by a wave of public sector strikes. Some of those disputes were ultimately resolved, but the problem has not gone away and this morning Daniel Kebede, president of the National Education Union, has been warning about the prospect of a further strike by teachers in England unless pay is improved.

The NEU is holding its conference this week and, an interview with the Today programme, Kebede said recruitment was now such a problem that education was at risk of grinding to a halt.

I would say there is a mood of desperation, if we’re being honest. The profession is very much on its knees. Morale is at an all time low.

And of course, we can see that in the crisis in recruitment and retention; 9% of the teaching profession left the profession last year prior to retirement. The government is continually missing its recruitment targets for new teachers. We missed it by 50% for secondary teachers this year.

We’re a union of half a million members. To get over 50% of members voting at a rate of nine in 10 for strike action is incredibly significant.

MPs called on train chiefs to resign or have funding pulled for failing to use the powers which would force unions to keep 40% of services running during stoppages this week and next.

The deadline for lodging their intention to use the ‘minimum service levels’ laws passed on Monday.

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