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UK government to have ‘intensive talks’ with education unions to end strikes

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The British government and education trade unions have agreed to begin “intensive talks” that will focus on pay, conditions and workload reduction, a joint statement said on Friday (17).

Teachers across England walked out this week over pay and working conditions in the state-funded school system – the latest in a series of education strikes that have disrupted life for millions of Britons.

The talks, beginning on Friday, will run over the weekend. The National Education Union said it would hold off calling any fresh strikes for two weeks to create a “period of calm”.

The statement was issued by the Department for Education Association of School and College Leaders, National Association of Head Teachers, NASUWT and National Education Union.

More broadly, prime minister Rishi Sunak has been under growing pressure to quell the worst wave of British worker unrest since the 1980s, with strikes over pay affecting almost every aspect of daily life as inflation runs at more than 10 per cent.

On Thursday (16), the government agreed a pay proposal with unions that would see more than a million healthcare workers get a five per cent pay rise for 2023/24 and a one-off payment for the current financial year. That deal now needs to be approved by union members.

(Reuters)

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