The National Union of Teachers is to ballot its members in England and Wales on a one-day strike over pay.
Union leaders are confident their members will support strike action
The government has offered a rise of 2.45% this year, and 2.3% in each of the following two years.
The union says the figure is below inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index which is currently at 4%.
The government says the award was recommended by an independent pay review body, and that a strike would only disrupt children's learning.
NUT general secretary Steve Sinnott has warned that recent improvements in teachers' pay would be wiped out by below-inflation increases over the next three years.
Mr Sinnott believes his members will back a one-day strike.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls accepted the salary increases which were recommended by the independent School Teachers' Review Body.
The government has a policy of below-inflation public sector pay deals as measured against the Consumer Prices Index which stands at 2.1%.
The Retail Prices Index includes costs such as rent and mortgages.