From education to employment

School Leaders in Wales to Consider Pay Offer

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Following meaningful negotiations between the National Education Union and the Welsh Government, a new, revised and fully-funded pay offer will be put to teacher members. As a result, the strike days scheduled in Wales next week (15 March and 16 March) have been called off.

In England, those strike days remain in place.

Since 19 January there have been constructive talks between the National Education Union and the Welsh Government in seeking, jointly, to secure a resolution to the pay dispute. A previous offer, which prompted the postponement of a strike on 14 February, was rejected.

The revised offer includes:

  • An additional 3% pay award for 2022/23 – 1.5% consolidated and 1.5% non-consolidated.
  • A recommendation that the 2023/24 pay award effective 1 September 2023 be increased to 5%. This to be fully funded.
  • A no detriment principle so that should there be a higher pay settlement in England, Wales would match that pay award.

Taken over two years for teachers on all spine points, the pay offer is worth 11.8% consolidated plus the 1.5% non-consolidated payment.

All eligible teacher members in Wales will be consulted via electronic ballot.

Talks will continue with Welsh Government on a range of other issues important to NEU members, such as school funding, and workload including the pressures generated by Estyn and the accountability requirements of Consortia.


Members of school leaders’ union NAHT Cymru are to be consulted electronically on the latest offer on pay, workload and funding from Welsh Government.

Following a members-only online meeting this evening, an electronic ballot will be sent out for all eligible members to vote on whether to accept the offer.

Laura Doel, director of NAHT Cymru, said:

“We welcome this offer and believe it is important to put it to our members to hear their opinion.

“However, we do have concerns about how the offer will be funded. The Welsh Government has committed additional funds to cover the 3% uplift for 2022/23, but have given no firm commitment that Local Authorities will fully fund the 5% uplift for the following academic year, which makes our members anxious.

“We know that some Local Authorities have continually short-changed schools when it comes to money being promised for pay awards and this practice has to stop. This cannot become another example of the postcode lottery that blights school funding in Wales and ultimately has a detrimental impact of the delivery of education.”

The electronic ballot is due to close at noon on Friday 24 March.  NAHT Cymru will not be pausing ongoing action short of strike during that time but will continue to take action until an agreement is reached.

Sector Response

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said: 

“We thank the Welsh Government for the constructive manner in which they have pursued a solution to the current dispute over pay. It is vital that we do all we can, together, to combat the recruitment and retention crisis and ensure that more people join the profession and stay in the profession. The Welsh Government recognises this and has also understood the importance of the pay offer being fully funded. In addition, they have committed to working with us on tackling workload.

“This is in stark contrast to the behaviour of Gillian Keegan, who is preventing talks in England. This week she refused even to talks at Acas. The NEU has said time and again we will enter negotiations. The talks can go ahead at any time – it is Government who are declining and setting the preconditions, not the NEU.

“If it is true that the Education Secretary has the blessing of Government to negotiate on pay for this year and next, then there is nothing preventing talks other than her own intransigence. We have demonstrated in Wales that we are more than willing to enter serious negotiations and suspend strike action while we consult our members on an offer.”

Laura Doel, director of school leaders’ union NAHT Cymru, said:

“We welcome the offer from Welsh Government on pay, workload and funding.

“This is a positive move but we still have concerns about some elements about the funding of the offer, particularly when we know some Local Authorities have not funded the current existing 5% pay award. We are working to resolve this at pace and our Welsh Executive will meet on Monday to discuss next steps.

“It is not unreasonable to ask the employers to demonstrate how pay awards are being funded when our members are telling us otherwise.”

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Teachers will be concerned that the offer to pay additional money to teachers now must be honoured without strings attached.

“Teachers have seen the value of their pay plummet and are struggling with a cost-of-living crisis that is not of their making.

“The Minister’s offer to deliver an award to teachers on a without prejudice basis before the end of the financial year should mean that teachers will benefit from additional money today rather than empty promises of jam tomorrow.”

Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales, said:

“The Minister must not seek to play fast and loose with the negotiating machinery that exists in Wales, and must ensure that the role of the independent pay review body is fully respected.

“The Minister had already agreed to a remit to the Review Body (IWPRB). That must be honoured.

“The offer of 5% for teachers’ pay for September 2023 must be a starting point for the IWPRB’s deliberations. Given that headline inflation is forecast to remain high by September, it is essential that the pay review body is now allowed to go to work on the remit.

“The NASUWT will not be blocking the provision of additional pay to teachers and we call on the Minister to act in the interests of the majority of the teaching profession and not continue to hold the profession to ransom.”

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