Education unions write to Williamson over “divisive and inadequate” pay plans

Four education unions – ASCL, NAHT, NEU and Voice – have written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson regarding the government’s response to the recommendations of the 30th report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).

In a joint covering statement, the general secretaries of the four unions, said: “Teachers and school leaders agree that these proposals are divisive and inadequate. Giving lower pay increases to experienced teachers than to new teachers will not address the current problems but will instead create new ones.  The government must improve teacher pay levels and pay prospects, and drop damaging and unfair performance related pay (PRP), if we are to tackle the serious and entrenched teacher recruitment and retention problems.

“Since 2010 the value of teacher pay against inflation has been cut, PRP and funding cuts have restricted teacher pay progression, and the national teacher pay structure has been dismantled.   It is no surprise that after a decade of attacks on teacher pay, we struggle to recruit and keep the teachers and school leaders we need.

“Even the higher increases for early career teachers are not enough to make the significant restoration in the value of teacher pay that is the essential first step to repairing the damage caused by pay cuts.

“Government needs to show it values teachers and school leaders by urgently restoring the value of their pay. That means a significantly higher pay increase applied equally to all teachers and school leaders. It also means a properly funded national teacher pay structure offering pay levels competitive with other graduate professions. PRP must be removed and be replaced by career and pay progression to reward the acquisition of skills and experience.

“The government’s policy of cutting back teacher and school leader pay, restricting pay progression and imposing PRP has created the current problems.  An effective solution must involve reversing those policies and investing to make sure we attract and retain the teachers and school leaders we need.”

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