20,000 teachers took part in a National Education Union on-line meeting this evening to hear the Government's pay offer after 6 days of intensive negotiations. As the meeting progressed, on-line comments showed teachers' anger at the offer and Co-General Secretary Kevin Courtney had to reassure them that the NEU was recommending members reject the the ballot - which was to be sent out after the meeting.
The pay offer averaging 4.5% itself was poor but worse was it going to be unfunded apart from a Government contribution 0.5% thus creating a financial crisis for many schools, leading to potential redundancies, particularly in support staff.
The Government attempted to impose a condition that the offer would only stand if all four unions involved either recommended acceptance or were neutral, otherwise the offer would be witdrawn. The NEU will recommend rejection.
Clearly the ball is now in the Government's court.
The slides below give some headlines but you can see the full meeting HERE
THE GOVERNMENT REJECTED THESE DEMANDS
THE GOVERNMENT OFFERED
THE GOVERNMENT'S ATTEMPT TO SET CONDITIONS REJECTED BY NEU
Vix Lowthion, a high school teacher and Green Party spokesperson on education said this morning:
Could teachers feel any more let down, abandoned, insulted, angry and hated by government than we do this morning?
We don't do this for them. We do it for our young people. We keep going.
I can only conclude that the govt despise the entire profession.
The feeling's mutual.