28th June 2022
National Education Union Calls For ‘Inflation-plus’ Pay Rise
Leaders of the National Education Union (NEU) - the country’s largest teaching union say they will ballot their members on strike action later this year unless the government agrees to an “inflation-plus” pay rise.
In a letter to the education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, the joint general secretaries of the National Education Union (NEU) wrote that they would campaign in favour of industrial action if the government persisted in its current plan for a 3% pay increase for most teachers in England. Latest figures show that the consumer price index has risen 9.1% over the last month.
The hard-hitting letter stated that schools across England are struggling to recruit and retain staff, and that in real terms, teacher pay has fallen by a fifth in since 2010. This means that teacher’s salaries are at their lowest level compared with average earnings for more than 40 years.
Labour Party Response
The hard-hitting letter stated that schools across England are struggling to recruit and retain staff and that in real terms, teacher pay has fallen by a fifth in since 2010. This means that teachers’ salaries are at their lowest level compared with average earnings for more than 40 years.
In the letter, the joint general secretaries state: “Teacher workload remains at unsustainable levels. Pay cuts and excessive workload combine to intensify the already serious recruitment and retention problems. A clear and unambiguous signal that educators are valued, with undifferentiated inflation-plus pay increases for all teachers, is urgently needed. And you must fund schools accordingly.”
NASUWT, has also said it would hold a strike ballot if the government “does not deliver pay restoration for teachers”.
The NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach, said: “If the government and the pay review body reject a positive programme of restorative pay awards for teachers, then we will be asking our members whether they are prepared to take national industrial action in response.”
What the Increase Means
The annual recommendation on teacher pay by the independent School Teachers Review Body is yet to be published. In December 2021, Zahawi formally requested that the body consider pay awards for 2022-23 and 2023-24 to raise the starting salary for teachers in England to £30,000. Ministers have said there will be no additional funding for school budgets to cover any pay increases.
That rise would mean an 8.9% increase to minimum starting salaries but leave only a 3% or 2% rise for the majority of teachers and school leaders.