The government should publish the full report of the school teachers’ review body after its recommendation of a 6.5 per cent pay rise was leaked, unions have said.
But the four unions representing teachers and leaders have called on government to publish the full document now, and to reopen negotiations.
It comes amid a long-running stalemate between unions and government over pay and funding.
The National Education Union, NASUWT teaching union and NAHT school leaders’ union are all re-balloting members for strike action, while ASCL will ballot its members for the first time in its history.
In a joint-letter to education secretary Gillian Keegan, leaders urged her to “urgently” restart negotiations.
“It is only right that we, and the profession, receive confirmation on the accuracy, or otherwise, of the STRB recommendation on next year’s pay award,” the letter stated.
“We ask you to publish the STRB report and then to confirm whether the recommendation made by the independent pay review body will be accepted by your government and, further, that it will be fully funded for every school and implemented from September.”
‘Imperative’ that talks resume
They added that in recent meeting with Department for Education (DfE) officials, union leaders presented evidence of the funding pressures on schools and calculations of the extra funding required to pay an award “without cutting other essential aspects of education”.
“Now that the STRB report is with you, and its pay recommendation is known to you, it is imperative that you publish the report and make arrangements to continue with those discussions.”
The government has repeatedly refused to budge after its offer of an average 4.5 per cent increase was roundly rejected by most union members.
The dispute has already prompted five days of national strike action by NEU members as well as regional walkouts, with more expected in July. If other unions get strike mandates they have said they will coordinate action in the autumn term.
NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “If it is the case that the STRB have recommended a 6.5 per cent pay rise for teachers and leaders next year, then the profession needs to know that – and what the government plans to do with that recommendation.”
He said a 6.5 per cent rise “would be progress but it would be vital that the award is fully funded with new money from the Treasury”.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “As part of the normal process, the independent School Teachers’ Review Body has submitted its recommendations to government on teacher pay for 2023/24.
“We will be considering the recommendations and will publish our response in the usual way.”