UK teachers' union: ready to pause strikes if progress made on pay

Teachers join the strike action in Luton

LONDON (Reuters) - A trade union representing teachers in Britain said on Wednesday it was prepared to recommend pausing a planned strike next week if substantive progress can be made in talks with the government in a dispute over pay.

On Tuesday the government offered to hold formal talks on pay with the National Education Union (NEU), on the condition the union called off next week's walkout.

"We are prepared, should the negotiations make real progress, to pause next week’s strikes. But the government has to show good faith. We ask ministers to drop its preconditions and to begin serious negotiations," NEU Joint General Secretaries Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney said.

The union's national executive is due to meet on Saturday and could make a decision to call off the strike if the government comes forward with a "compelling" offer, it said.

The NEU said it had made a commitment to the government in writing that "if substantive progress can be made, we are prepared to recommend a pause to strikes next week to our National Executive Committee this Saturday".

(Reporting by Muvija M, Editing by Kylie MacLellan and Sarah Young)