HUNDREDS of school pupils in Carmarthenshire are staying at home today, (Thursday, 2 March), due to a strike by teachers and support workers.

The National Education Union (NEU) had supended action last month while it considered an improved package, which it then turned down.

Ministers offered an additional 1.5% pay increase on top of the 5% already promised this year, and then pledged another 1.5% as a one-off payment.

The strike action fully closed Carmarthenshire schools Dyffryn Aman; Dyffryn Taf; Glan-y-Môr; Bryn; Bryngwyn; Brynsierfel; Burry Port; Coedcae; Laugharne; Queen Elizabeth High; Richmond Park and St. John Lloyd.

There are also 14 partial closures of schools in Carmarthenshire, including Ty Croes, Brynaman, Bro Banw and Bro Dinefwr.

NEU Wales Secretary David Evans said: “NEU Cymru are committed to seeking a resolution to this dispute on behalf of teacher and support staff members employed across Wales.

"Our demands have been clear, and we will meet with the Minister and his officials as often as necessary to seek to secure a deal that will resolve all issues.

“Whilst we acknowledge that the Welsh Government have made offers that include seeking to address workload and reopening negotiations for 2023/24, those offers still fall short of our members expectations and needs.”

“We are pleased that here in Wales, the Education Minister, Jeremy Miles MS, has put forward some proposals. But unfortunately, we are not in a position where we have anything for our membership to seriously consider. Therefore, it appears that the strike action on Thursday will be going ahead.

“NEU Cymru members do not take strike action lightly. It is with deep regret that they are spending time outside of their classrooms this week.”

“We have a recruitment and retention crisis here in Wales which isn’t going away.

“Of those leaving teaching, a fifth are in their first 5 years, with over a third (35%) in their first 10 years. This is a waste of talent and resources.

“Welsh Government are not hitting their training targets either. Secondary training place targets have been missed every year for the last 7 years. With primary only hitting the target once in the last 6 years.

“This is a ticking time bomb. We need to make the profession attractive and that starts with pay and workload. We are pleased to see the Minister recognises this, but we are not in a position to call off the strikes at the moment.

“A fully-funded, consolidated pay rise is absolutely critical, to help restore the nearly 20% drop in wages for teachers since 2010. For support staff this is around a 27% drop in real terms.

“We are also disappointed there has been no offer put forward for support staff. Too often support staff are asked to undertake duties beyond their remits – covering classes when teachers are off sick.

"This isn’t fair on them, and it isn’t right for our children and young people. Every class deserves to be taught by a qualified teacher.

“These are key reasons many schools will be closed on Thursday, as the education workforce has had enough.”

The Welsh government responded by saying it was working within "challenging financial constraints".

"We believe an offer that is the equivalent of an 8% pay rise, with 6.5% consolidated, is a strong one in the context of a reducing Welsh government budget," a spokesman said.

"For teachers to be able to benefit from an additional backdated pay rise for 2022-23, an agreement will be needed by mid-March."


We passionately believe in the value of good, trusted journalism. If you share that belief, you can experience the benefits of unlimited advert-light news access from journalists you know and trust on your favourite devices ->subscribe today HERE.

With a digital subscription you will experience up to 80% less advertising, this means faster loading pages and ultimately a much better user experience. You can also>sign up for our free daily newsletters HERE.