STRIKE chaos is expected to erupt again as teachers planned two days of walkouts over pay disputes next month.
The National Education Union announced the industrial action would take place on July 5-7.
While the NEU viewed the walkouts as a “last resort,” the Department of Education said they could “do real harm.”
And thousands of parents will be forced to take a day off as labor disputes keep their children at home.
This is the sixth devastating nationwide strike in the past five months, organized by NEU members.
Strikes erupted in May that left less than half the schools operational and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said the strike action had been “hugely disappointing”.
Mother-of-three Virginia Nnomo runs her own business and said more strikes would cost her money.
“The cost of a babysitter is a lot of money and she charges me per child. So when I weigh it, maybe it’s better to stay home — but I’ll lose money, that’s for sure,” Virginia said BBC.
However, the NEU members are demanding a higher wage increase that matches the rate of inflation – after receiving a 5 percent increase from 2022 to 2023.
In talks so far, most teachers have been offered a 4.3 percent pay rise for the next year.
Offers of up to £30,000 have also been offered for her starting salary.
dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, claimed Education Secretary Gillian Keegan had the power to stop the strike.
They said: “The National Education Union, along with its sister unions, have repeatedly urged the Secretary of Education to sit down at the negotiating table to resolve this dispute over a fully funded increase in teachers’ salaries.”
“Time and again, our calls have fallen on stony ground.
“Nobody wants to go on strike, but when they are confronted with an education secretary who clearly has no interest in resolving this dispute, the teachers have no choice.”
However, the Department of Education has said the current negotiations are a “fair and reasonable offer”.
It also said schools would receive an additional £2.3billion over the next two years.
The teachers are demanding that funding come from the government and not from school funds.
This comes as other teaching unions, the NAHT, the NASUWT and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), hold talks about strikes in the fall semester later this year.
An Education Ministry spokesman said the strike would cause disruption to parents across the country.
“Thousands of schools will receive significant additional funding as part of the £2 billion additional investment we are making available for both 2023/24 and 2024/25, taking next year’s school funding to its highest level in history, according to the IFS will.” (Think tank of the Institute for Financial Studies).”