NEU wants 7% pay rise for all teachers

The National Education Union has called on ministers to follow the example of their Scottish counterparts and award all teachers a seven per cent pay rise.

In its submission to the School Teachers’ Review Body, the union also made the case for removal of performance related pay in schools and for the restoration of a national teacher pay structure, as well as a long-term strategy for teacher pay.

The STRB can recommend pay rises for teachers, but the final decision lies with the government. In July, the government agreed to a pay rise of 2.75 per cent across all grades, but did not fund the entire increase.

The NEU’s submission argues that a seven per cent pay rise should be fully funded by the government and paid to all teachers. It notes that teachers in Scotland received a seven per cent rise last year.

In March, members of the Educational Institute of Scotland – Scotland’s largest teachers’ union – agreed to call off a planned strike ballot after the government offered a pay increase of 13.5 per cent over three years. The offer included a backdated three per cent rise effective from April 2018, a seven per cent rise effective from April 2019 and a further three per cent rise this April.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said real terms cuts to teacher pay “have contributed significantly to the severe and entrenched teacher recruitment and retention crisis”.

“For the sake of our schools and the communities they serve, the new government must take urgent action to restore the serious damage caused by a decade of attacks on teacher pay.”

The NEU submission called for a national and mandatory pay structure featuring fixed pay scales with incremental progression, restoring pay portability for classroom teachers moving between schools and an end to performance-related pay in schools.

In September, the government confirmed starting salaries for teachers will rise to £30,000 by 2022.

Later that month, education secretary Gavin Williamson asked the STRB to advise the government on how a new “flatter” pay progression model might work and whether separate main and upper pay ranges are still needed.

The DfE is due to publish the evidence submitted to the STRB tomorrow.