Schools in England face fresh strikes this spring after members of the largest education union in the UK rejected the Government’s pay offer.
An overwhelming 98% of National Education Union (NEU) teacher members in England, who responded in a consultative ballot, voted to turn down the deal.
The result of the ballot was announced at the start of the NEU’s annual conference in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on Monday morning.
Many schools in England were forced to partially or fully close during strikes staged by the NEU in February and March as a result of a dispute over pay.
Last week, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan suggested that teachers could miss out on an increased pay deal this year if they rejected the offer.
Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: “This resounding rejection of the Government’s offer should leave Gillian Keegan in no doubt that she will need to come back to the negotiating table with a much better proposal.
“The offer shows an astounding lack of judgment and understanding of the desperate situation in the education system.
“We have today written to the Education Secretary informing her of the next two days of strike action on April 27 and May 2 that NEU teacher members in England will now be taking.
“These strikes are more than three weeks away; Gillian Keegan can avoid them.”
Members of the NASUWT teaching union, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) are also being asked for feedback on the Government’s offer.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, said last week that industrial action by school leaders will be “necessary” if NAHT members decide to reject the Government’s “inadequate” pay offer.
In January, a ballot of NAHT members failed to meet the mandatory 50% turnout threshold required for strike action.
But the NAHT has said it could move to a second formal industrial action ballot if its members turn down the Government’s pay offer.