Ballots in eight schools began this week, adding to the five schools already in dispute as the campaign for fair pay in East Sussex grows.
The dispute is over the failure of the local authority to recommend the agreed union rates for teachers, (2%) across the main scale from September 2017, instead recommending 1% in the grades between the min and maximum. The sums involved are relatively small (between zero and about £10K per school).
Members in five secondary schools in the area have already taken two days of strike action which was solidly supported. A further school faced with action, agreed to settle. In addition, as a result of the action over twenty schools (more than 10%) in East Sussex have now confirmed they will pay the correct rates and the figure is increasing as momentum grows.
An NEU official said:
“We know that schools are facing funding pressures, however we cannot allow a two tier workforce to develop at the expense of our members. The majority of schools and local authorities have implemented the recommended rates, we are calling on those who do not to change their approach otherwise they may face similar action.”
The schools balloting and taking action are; Bourne, Priory, Uckfield Community College, Seaford Head, Seaford Primary (agreed to pay), St Catherine’s, Peacehaven, Meridian, Cavendish, Hailsham, Ocklynge, Central CE, Pashley Down and Ratton.
Elsewhere in the NEU, strike action to oppose academy status continues at The Village School in Brent.
Campaigners here have been hugely boosted by the success of anti-academies action by staff and parents in Newham where plans to force a number of primary schools to convert to academy status have been withdrawn.