Opinion Former Article

Teachers' pay award - thousands face the prospect of 0%

Commenting on the announcement of the publication of the 25th School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) Report on the teachers’ pay award for 2015-16 and the Coalition Government’s response, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“It is clear that within the constraints imposed by the Treasury, the Review Body, by recommending 2% on the top of the main pay range is signalling very strongly that there is a real issue in terms of the adverse impact the Coalition Government’s public sector pay policy is having on teacher supply.

“Teachers have had their pay cut by thousands of pounds over the last four and half years under this Coalition Government.

“Teachers’ starting salaries are now 20% lower than other graduate professions and 44% lower for teachers who have had three years of service. They are a staggering 73% lower after five years.

“Whilst the Review Body may be acting with the best of intentions in seeking to introduce the opportunity for some teachers to receive up to 2%, unfortunately, this is still within the Treasury pay cap and takes no account of the fact that, thanks to the Coalition Government’s changes to the pay structure, schools can use their pay flexibilities to seek to avoid paying teachers any award at all.

“Thousands of teachers face the prospect of being denied even the meagre cost of living award the Review Body is recommending.

“A survey of NASUWT members found that by December 2014, 51% of teachers had not received the 1% cost of living increase last year which should have been paid in September.

“The profession is already in the grip of a recruitment and retention crisis due to the Coalition’s relentless attacks on pay, pensions and working conditions. Today’s announcement will do nothing to address this.

“This is not only bad news for teachers, it is bad news for children and young people who are being robbed of their entitlement to be taught by those who are recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals.

“Teachers’ anger and frustration will undoubtedly be reflected in the decisions they make when they vote on 7 May.”
 



Notes to editors

The NASUWT will be studying the report in detail and may issue further comment.

Please find attached an NASUWT-commissioned report by Incomes Data Services (IDS) on teacher salaries at different career points.

Facts on teachers’ pay

·         Teachers’ pay has been cut by 14.8% since 2010;

·         The average pay award for graduates in other professions in 2014 was 3.3%, compared to 1% for teachers;

·         The gender pay gap between teachers is widening, with men, on average, enjoying an £2,600 pay advantage over female colleagues in primary schools and £2,400 in secondary schools. The gap is even wider in academy schools at £4,700 in primary academies and £3,200 in secondaries;

·         Teachers entering the profession at M1 on the pay range have lost £11,279 since 2010 due to successive pay freezes and below-inflation pay awards. Teachers at the top of the pay range have lost £19,206.

The NASUWT has produced a booklet on teachers’ pay as part of its General Election Vote for Education campaign. This and other campaign materials can be found at www.nasuwt.org.uk/VoteforEducation

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