Opinion Former Article

NASUWT: Chancellor continues his punishing pursuit of public service workers

Commenting on reports that the Chancellor is to scrap national pay frameworks for teachers, nurses and civil servants in Wednesday's Budget announcement, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:

"On one level this is old news, as the Chancellor announced in his last Autumn statement that he would be looking at local and regional pay for public service workers.

"The independent Review Body, which consider teachers' pay, only recently has been given a remit to examine this whole issue.

"It appears, however, that so impatient is the Chancellor to continue his punishing pursuit of public service workers' pay and conditions that he can't even risk the Review Body coming to a different conclusion and so is poised to make the decision himself.

"As usual the Chancellor holds up the private sector as the comparator.

"The inconvenient truth he chooses to ignore is that large organisations in the private sector have national pay and conditions frameworks, TESCO, Marks and Spencer's and John Lewis to name but three.

"They recognise that it makes good sense, is financially more cost effective and underpins customer entitlement to consistent and high quality delivery of service, regardless of post code.

"Children and young people, wherever they live, are entitled to be taught by teachers who have pay which recognises and rewards them as highly skilled professionals and conditions of service which support them in working effectively to raise standards.

"Surely if it's good enough for TESCO customers, it?s good enough for our children and young people."

                                           ENDS

Notes to editors

Teachers have had a four year pay freeze imposed which began in September 2011.

From 1 April they will have a further pay cut as a result of imposed increased pension contributions.

By September 2012 a young teacher at the start of their career will have had a pay cut of over £3,500 and a more experienced teacher well over £5,000.

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