6 July 2016
Commenting on the publication of the STRB’s recommendations on teachers’ pay for 2016/17, including a 1% increase, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The Government has been told in the clearest terms by the STRB that its misguided policy of cutting teachers’ pay is damaging our schools.
“The STRB, unlike the Government, has recognised the mounting crisis in recruitment and retention. It has told the Government that a pay increase ‘significantly higher than 1%’ is needed and that schools need more funding to allow this. It has also told the Government that it should make preparations for a higher increase in the next couple of years. Nicky Morgan’s shameful response is to ignore all of this in her statement to Parliament.
“Teachers have suffered six years of pay freezes and pay limits which have cut their pay by almost 15% in real terms. At the same time, workload and stress are increasing and funding cuts are leading to higher class sizes, cuts in resources and cuts in staffing. No wonder graduates are turning away from teaching as a career and serving teachers are leaving in increasing numbers.
“Instead of addressing pay seriously, Nicky Morgan tried to push through measures allowing teachers to be forced into accepting pay cuts by moving down the pay scale. Older women teachers in particular would have been hit hard by this hugely discriminatory proposal. We have already seen increasing disparities and discrimination in pay since pay decisions were devolved to school level. Fortunately the STRB has thrown out this proposal – yet another welcome instance of Nicky Morgan’s ideas being rejected.
“Nicky Morgan is now trying to bury her head in the sand and ignore what the STRB has told her. The NUT is hugely disappointed that the STRB decided to accept the 1% pay limit this year but strongly supports the STRB’s view that the Government must urgently find more money for schools to allow them to employ more and better-paid teachers.”