Five schools across East Sussex, including Peacehaven Community School (PCS) and Seaford Head School, have been affected by strikes today.
Industrial action has taken place over low pay rates with the National Education Union (NEU) calling on headteachers in East Sussex to agree to the recommended pay rise. Currently, newly qualified and low-paid staff are being denied the recommended national pay rates.
The NEU argue that this is unfair on staff members who are receiving lower rates of pay to those who are only in the next town over in Brighton. Union representatives say this could deter future newly qualified teachers from working in schools in East Sussex if they’re going to receive a lower pay-packet than other schools nearby.
Lizzie Green, the NEU representative at PCS, said that it has nationally been recommended by the government that there should be a two per cent pay rise. She said: “East Sussex County Council has recommended that we only get paid a one per cent pay rise, which is obviously lower than the rest of the country.”
Phil Clarke, the secretary for the NEU in Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden says that the sum involved is remarkably small. “The average cost across East Sussex is only £1700 for the whole school for the whole year to solve this,” he said.
Further industrial action is planned for Thursday 3rd May if an agreement cannot be reached.
Phil Clarke, the secretary for the NEU in Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden, said: “All it takes is governing bodies to pay the sum and we will call off the strikes.”