Teacher strikes

Teacher pay demands ‘economically incoherent’, Keegan says

Education secretary said government 'can't bake in inflation' as teachers begin first national strike in six years

Education secretary said government 'can't bake in inflation' as teachers begin first national strike in six years

Gillian Keegan

Union demands to increase teacher pay are “economically incoherent”, the education secretary has said, as staff begin the first national school teachers’ strike in over six years.

Teachers in thousands of schools walked out today after National Education Union members voted to strike and crunch talks with government failed to find a resolution.

The union wants a “fully-funded, above-inflation pay rise” for teachers following years of real-term cuts to salaries.

But education secretary Gillian Keegan told Sky News government is focusing on halving inflation – currently at 10 per cent – as “we can’t bake in inflation which is what will happen if we start to get wages spiralling out of control”.

On union demands, she said: “The discussions we had on Monday were constructive discussions. I’m not going to go in and say ‘we will do inflation-plus’, whatever, it would be economically incoherent to do that, we can’t do that, we’ve made that very clear.

“But we will get inflation down so everybody will feel better.”

However, research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year found only a minority of “wage-price spiral” episodes were “followed by sustained accelerating in wages and prices”.

“We conclude that an acceleration of nominal wages should not necessarily be seen as a sign that a wage-price spiral is taking hold.”

Keegan said they were looking at workload and flexible working options, as well as future pay. She said they missed Friday’s deadline for next year’s pay review body “to keep open to those discussions about future pay”.

Schools Week revealed last month that Keegan is “keen” to look at varying teacher pay by subject. On the BBC Radio 4, she confirmed this saying: “We’ll look at differential pay, if that makes sense”.

Keegan said they didn’t know how many schools were closed due to strikes, but were collecting the data ahead of it being published this afternoon.

A DfE survey and “ring around” schools showed the “majority” would be open, but some will have restrictions for different cohorts.

Latest education roles from

Nursery Opportunities

Nursery Opportunities

Carshalton College

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Barnsley College

LECTURER – PSYCHOLOGY

LECTURER – PSYCHOLOGY

East Sussex College

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Satis Education

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspire creativity in your classroom. Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week is back!

Now in its third year, Access All Arts week is a nationwide celebration of creativity for primary schools (17-21...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Unleash the Power of Sport in your setting this summer! National School Sports Week is back!

Unleash the Power of Sport this summer with National School Sports Week powered by Monster Kickabout! From 17-23 June,...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Teacher strikes

NEU votes to hear pay offer before balloting for strikes

Conference rejects proposal for a ballot to start in early June

Freddie Whittaker
Teacher strikes

Teachers could strike again in September, says NEU leader

Ballot should be held over 'fairly significant' period if conference green-lights formal vote, says Daniel Kebede

Freddie Whittaker
Teacher strikes

NASUWT: 78% reject move to formal pay strike ballot

'Political campaigning to secure a government prepared to fix the damage...must now be the priority'

Freddie Whittaker
Teacher strikes

NEU indicative ballot: Members back strike action over pay

Executive will meet next week to discuss next steps after 9 in 10 back walkouts on a turnout of...

Freddie Whittaker

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *