Headteachers’ union votes overwhelmingly to reject government pay deal

Further strikes not ruled out after ASCL becomes second union to reject government pay offer.

A second teaching union on Tuesday rejected the government’s pay offer and refused to rule out future strikes.

Members of the school and college leaders’ union ASCL voted against the government’s proposed deal of a 4.5 per cent pay award and a one off £1000 payment to teachers, which the union described as “inadequate in every respect.”

Union leaders said holding a formal ballot on industrial action is “certainly an option”.

In total, 87 per cent of ASCL members who took part in the ballot rejected the deal.

It comes after the National Education Union, the biggest teaching union, on Monday rejected the deal and announced two further strike dates.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the union has not yet balloted on strike action because it had been focussed on resolving the situation through negotiation.

“This is certainly an option that will be discussed but we would emphasise that no decision on this front has been taken in either direction. It would clearly be much better for all concerned if the government responds with an improved pay offer and puts an end to the industrial dispute,” he said.

“The government’s pay offer is inadequate in every respect. It fails to address long-term pay erosion, the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, or provide enough funding for schools to be able to afford even the meagre pay award that is on the table.

“Talks with the government were immensely frustrating and it took an eternity to inch towards this lacklustre set of proposals. Ultimately all we could do is put it to members and let them decide. It is no surprise that they have overwhelmingly rejected the offer.”

He added that members were concerned about the prospect of not being able to afford to pay staff more without having to make cuts elsewhere.

The union’s executive committee will meet after the Easter break to discuss what action it will take next.

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