NEU to continue to oppose minimum services levels

The National Education Union has stated they will continue to oppose minimum services levels required by the government during times of strike action to ensure continuity of education for pupils.

Last October, education secretary Gillian Keegan wrote to union leaders inviting them to discuss proposals on a voluntary basis in the first instance.

In her letter, she said that should a voluntary agreement not be reached, the government would be committed to using powers granted through the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act that was introduced earlier in 2023.

Commenting after the passing of motion 32 at NEU Annual Conference last week, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The NEU conference has highlighted today how the right to strike is a fundamental human right and one of the core principles of a functioning democratic society."

He said: "Introducing minimum service levels would place restrictions on education staff who have democratically and legally voted for strike action, forcing most to go into work on strike days.

Kebede added that the UK already has some of the "most restrictive trade union legislation in Europe" and said if Ministers get their way and impose MSLs in education, this will only make the resolution of disputes more difficult.

“Any government that was serious about wanting to minimise industrial action in schools would take meaningful action on pay and workload which has led to a deepening recruitment and retention crisis on the Conservatives’ watch.

“The NEU will continue to oppose minimum services levels and lobby a future Labour government to repeal the measures at the earliest opportunity."

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