The NEU, ASCL, NAHT, UCAC and Voice unions have reiterated their call for pay rises to “address the decline in teachers’ real pay over the last seven years”.
Teachers’ unions have warned that the “longstanding erosion” of teachers’ pay must end and argued that school staff must be “fairly and appropriately rewarded”.
For the past seven years teachers and school leaders have suffered real terms pay cuts at a time of “unprecedented levels of change” in the education system, with the introduction of new exam systems and curriculum changes, according to five leading education unions.
The five unions, the National Education Union (NEU), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), UCAC and Voice issued a joint statement to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) saying that ensuring teachers’ get a wage increase is a “matter of fairness and justice”.
The strongly-worded statement comes just days before the deadline for submissions to the STRB, which is responsible for recommending pay increased for the education sector.
The joint statement says:
The evidence from our organisations of a growing crisis in recruiting and retaining teachers and school leaders means that the STRB must take this opportunity to fully exercise its functions as the independent pay review body for the profession. We believe that this must lead the STRB to recommend a significant increase in pay for all teachers and school leaders, irrespective of their career stage, setting or geographical location.
We believe it is a matter of ‘justice and fairness’ that all teachers and school leaders should receive an annual cost of living increase to prevent them from being worse off year-on-year. The current policy of differentiated pay awards is not working and is demoralising the profession.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said:
Children’s education is at risk – insufficient recruitment and retention of high quality teachers is a very real problem. To begin to address this, it is essential that teacher workload is reduced and that the government now commits to reducing a restorative pay rise, starting with a significant real terms increase in 2018, which is fully funded.
Ministers are right when they say an education system is only as good as its teachers and leaders. The public is demanding government values these hardworking professionals who can make such a positive impact on young people’s futures.