School strikes Manchester: We speak to teachers on the picket lines about why they are striking

We speak to teachers across Greater Manchester at the picket lines on the first day of NEU strike action.
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Many teachers across Manchester are on strike today (Wednesday February 1) as part of a national dispute over pay. Members of the National Education Union (NEU) are walking out across Greater Manchester and around England after balloting for strike action.

The union hopes to get a fully-funded pay rise and action to reverse what it says is years of lost pay and real-terms cuts.

Zoe Hepden, a Politics, Philosophy and PSHE teacher from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys said: “We’re here because we’re trying to get a message out to the government about how underfunded education is. I am under a lot of pressure in the classroom and all my colleagues feel the same and it’s just not being reflected in our pay.

“What that’s doing is pushing people like me, who are highly educated and highly skilled, away from education.”

She said there is an ongoing teacher retention and teacher recruitment problem, as more young people are realising they can’t cope with the workload and the pay is not reflecting the work they are putting in. We went down to the picket lines at Whalley Grange High School, William Hulme’s Grammar School and Trafford Town Hall on the first day of the strikes to speak to teachers involved in the walkouts.