Fighting fund banner


Prison educators

Prison educators vote to strike across England over low pay

6 October 2022

Over 400 staff working in education at 48 prisons and youth offender institutions across England could walk out after voting for strike action.

Members voted overwhelmingly for strike action with 94.47% of those voting, voting 'YES' in a vote that surpassed the 50% turnout threshold imposed by Tory anti trade union legislation.

The prison educators, who are employed by Novus, have seen their pay fall by more than 25% since 2009. Prison education is already one of the lowest paid sectors, as highlighted by the House of Commons Education Select Committee. 

Novus has made a pay offer of just 2% for 2021/22 and 3% for 2022/23, far below current RPI inflation of 12.3%. UCU is demanding Novus comes to the table with a realistic pay offer that helps staff meet the cost of living crisis. UCU members will now meet to decide next steps.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'Rather than offer prison educators a desperately needed pay rise to help them meet the cost of living crisis, Novus management decided to deliver yet more real terms pay cuts. They have no one but themselves to blame now staff have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. 

'Many prison education are facing poverty because historically low pay means they are already financially insecure. Novus still has time to do what is necessary and make staff an improved and realistic offer. If it refuses to do so, staff will have no option other than to take strike action across its prisons in England.' 

Last updated: 17 October 2022