Making a pay claim graphic

Making a pay claim

A toolkit for independent members on how and when to submit a collective pay claim. 

Download the toolkit

All workplace memberships in the independent sector should make an annual pay claim. Regardless of whether you enjoy statutory collective rights, NEU recommends that members submit a pay claim rather than waiting to be told what the pay award will be.

How to use the Toolkit

The main toolkit contains key elements to consider when making your pay claim, such as these six steps:

Six simple steps to take to improve your pay

  1. Call a meeting for NEU members
  2. Ask for volunteers
  3. Request a meeting with your head teacher
  4. Consider any response from the head 
  5. Consider trade union recognition
  6. Contact the NEU Regional Office


These resources are also in the appendix to the toolkit. Use them to help guide your pay claim step-by-step.

NEU pay against inflation tracker

This interactive tool allows you to enter the cost of living increases you have received in recent years. The calculator will automatically calculate how your salaries have fared in real terms when compared against inflation. This is invaluable information to put in your pay claim.


  1. The calculator only works when a pay increase is logged for 2022/23. If you have not agreed this yet, please type 0, but bear in mind that the figures for real-terms pay loss will change once you receive any 2022/23 increase.
  2. The calculator looks at cost-of-living pay increases only. Other increases due to progression or promotion are designed to reward you for your increased experience or responsibility, rather than to maintain the real value of your salary. As such, they are not suitable for comparing with inflation.
  3. Inflation is measured by the September Retail Price Index each year, to coincide with pay settlements at the start of the new academic year.
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