Good morning. There are signs that the public sector strikes that have disrupted many services over the last few months, particularly in England, are coming to an end. The Royal College of Nursing is starting to ballot its members in England on whether they should accept a pay off, and RMT members recently voted to accept a pay deal from Network Rail. But last night it emerged that the National Education Union, the biggest teaching union in England, is urging its members to reject the latest pay offer from ministers.
In an interview this morning Mary Bousted, the NEU joint general secretary, would not rule out future strikes disrupting exams. Asked if that could happen, she told Radio 4’s Today programme:
We really hope that that doesn’t take place.
What we hope is that if the members do reject the offer, we want to go back to the government and say: ‘you have to do better’, reopen negotiations, and let’s see if we can get an offer that members will find respectable.
Asked again about whether strikes would disrupt exams, Bousted replied:
We will plan more strike dates. We don’t want to disrupt exams and we will try to ensure that we do reopen negotiations.
Nick Robinson, the presenter, pressed Bousted on this a third time. He invited her, if she did not want to interrupt exams, to say clearly ‘We will have strike dates, they will not interrupt exams’. Bousted replied:
We have conference next week, and conference will decide the plan of action, but no teacher wants to disrupt exam dates at all, so it’s up to the government.
Here is the agenda for the day.
10.30am: Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary for climate change and net zero, speaks at a Green Alliance event. As my colleague Pippa Crerar reports, Miliband will present Labour’s green growth plan as the British version of the US’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Morning: Rishi Sunak chairs cabinet.
11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.
11.30am: David Lammy, the foreign secretary, speaks at the launch of a pamphlet setting out his plans for Labour’s foreign policy.
12pm: Labour’s national executive committee meets.
After 12.30pm: Johnny Mercer, the veterans ministers, is expected to make a statement to MPs about housing Afghan refugees.
After 1.30pm: MPs will resume their debate on the illegal migration bill.
After 2pm: MSPs vote to elect the new first minister, with Humza Yousaf, the new SNP leader, certain to be chosen. After the vote, party leaders will make short speeches.
3pm: Rishi Sunak gives evidence to the Commons liaison committee.
Afternoon: Peers debate Commons amendments to the public order bill.
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