Teachers union members will not strike after ballot turnout below 50%

Nine out of 10 members of the NASUWT teachers union in England and Wales voted for strikes over pay but the turnout was 42%, below the legal threshold, it has been announced.

The union said it remained in dispute with the Government despite not achieving the 50% ballot turnout required by law.

Downing Street said talks with unions will continue to avert “damaging” industrial action.

NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach said: “It is clear that our members are sending a strong message to the Government on the need to address teachers’ pay concerns.

“Whilst the Government’s anti-trade union legislation prevents members in state-funded schools and colleges from taking industrial action, we remain in formal disputes with ministers and employers and will be continuing to take forward our campaigning for a Better Deal for Teachers.

“The readiness of our members to support industrial action demonstrates the anger of the profession and the need for governments in England and Wales to engage in meaningful negotiations to address the deep concerns of our members.

“Our campaign to fight for the real-terms pay awards that teachers and headteachers deserve continues.”

A No 10 spokesperson told reporters: “The Education Secretary held a meeting earlier this week, a constructive meeting with union leaders, and I believe that she held a similar meeting today.

“She agreed the importance of working together to avoid strike action that would be damaging to children. We know the disruption that children have already faced in terms of their education due to the pandemic, so we obviously don’t want to see any further disruption.

“We continue to want to try and help and facilitate teachers and the unions receive a fair and affordable pay deal.

“The most important thing is that we continue to talk.”