National Education Union asks teachers in England to reject new pay offer

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - The National Education Union (NEU) on Monday recommended that its members in England reject a government pay offer of a one-off payment this year of 1,000 pounds ($1,227) and an average pay rise of 4.5% in the next financial year.

Teachers have been involved in strike action this year that has left classrooms empty for several days and heaped pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to resolve the dispute.

Britain is experiencing its worst wave of worker unrest since the 1980s, with strikes over pay affecting almost every aspect of daily life as inflation runs at a four-decade high of more than 10%.

The NEU, Britain's largest education union, has said it wants an above-inflation pay rise to prevent further disruptive strike action by hundreds of thousands of teachers.

The NEU said the new pay offer would mean experienced teachers, including those in leadership positions, would get a lower rise in their wages of 4.3%.

The offer will now be put to union members in a vote, which closes on April 2.

"This is an insulting offer from a government which simply does not value teachers," Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, NEU Joint General Secretaries said in a statement.

"It is now crystal clear that we have an Education Secretary and a government that is ignoring the crisis in our schools and colleges."

($1 = 0.8147 pounds)

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Christina Fincher

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