Schools could be next in line to be hit by strike action as unions say they could ballot their members if the government does not agree to pay rises in line with inflation.
Political editor Paul Francis speaks to one teacher who will be on the picket line if action is agreed.
John (not his real name), a maths teacher at a secondary school in the county, has been in a profession he says he loves for eight years but recently decided to apply for a job which would have taken him out of the classroom.
It was a decision he made reluctantly but a combination of the ever-increasing workloads and pay awards not keeping pace with inflation led him to look elsewhere.
In the event, he did not get the job but says that he would consider other vacancies should they arise.
It is the issue of pay - potentially a pay freeze - that has driven record numbers of teachers away from the classroom.
He has a straightforward argument when it comes to justifying what could be double digit inflationary pay rise.
He said: “I think all workers should get an in-line with inflation pay rise, shouldn’t they?
"I think that's only fair. You know, otherwise, you're getting a pay cut.
"We're looking like we're going to be offered a 3% pay rise. You know, the inflation rate is currently 8.9% and it's going to go to 11%. You know, it's a pay cut, isn't it?”
Like many, he gets frustrated by the perception of some that teachers are different because they have long holidays.
“There's a perception that we clock off at the end of the day when the kids leave and that's a little frustrating, isn't it?
"Because even if you do leave when kids leave, the vast majority of teachers do some work in the evenings or do work at weekends. There's the notion that it's great we get all these holidays.
"But you don't get paid for those holidays, you get paid to work 1,265 hours a year, 195 days a year - you just get 12 payments, it’s not like we're getting something for free.”
He underlines the point, revealing that he often buys text books himself for his pupils.
“We don't buy huge amounts, but you know, I buy revision guides for myself to help me with my job. We pay for stuff ourselves.”
Asked where he stands on taking strike action and he is unequivocal.
“I was on strike the year I started as a teacher. I'm absolutely for that and I actually support what the RMT is doing (rail strikes).
"Because, you know, one of the only things you have left as a worker is to withdraw your money if people refuse to talk to you.”
Despite the stresses and strains, he still enjoys teaching.
“I absolutely love it but it is hard and it is getting harder,” he said.
While he has stayed the course, others haven’t and there is a high drop-out rate among teachers.
He won’t be joining them just yet, but will, should unions decide, follow in the footsteps of railway workers and public sector employees striking for what he believes is a just cause.
The National Education Union (NEU) is pushing for a pay offer much closer to inflation, saying that years of a pay freeze has left its members worse off.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has hinted a pay award could be in the region of 3% - way off what the union wants and likely to trigger a ballot of its 450,000 members.
The move could lead to strikes in schools in England in the autumn.
Current starting salaries for newly qualified teachers is between £25,714 and £32,157.
Other sectors which could be hit by strikes:
With the cost-of-living crisis, rising prices and inflation close to double-digits, it is not surprising that a growing number of unions are preparing to ballot their members over industrial action.
The Criminal Bar Association says its members have suffered an average decrease in earnings of 28% since 2006 - when taking inflation into account.
Members have backed a plan for 14 days of action between 27 June and 22 July.
Nothing official has been agreed about strike action as yet but in a survey in December last year members overwhelmingly supported industrial action short of a strike over pay.