The Government has published the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), following its decision to implement the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body on teachers’ pay for 2017-18.
We set out here our joint union advice on the application of these proposed changes, including the adoption of pay scales and the application of individual pay increases.
Consultation on pay policies
Formal consultation should take place with teachers and their union representatives before pay policies and pay scales for September 2017 are finalised. This should happen at the start of the new academic year, in order to comply with the requirement for meaningful consultation while also ensuring that teacher pay uplifts are not delayed. Notwithstanding this, we believe that it would be helpful for local authorities, school governing bodies and academy employers to announce as soon as possible whether or not they intend to adopt the advice set out here.
Pay scales for 2017-18
Although the STPCD (since 2014) only prescribes pay ranges with minimum and maximum points, it continues to permit the adoption of fixed pay scale points as the basis for pay progression.
The Secretary of State has implemented a 2% increase to the minimum and maximum of the Main Pay Range and a 1% increase to the minima and maxima of other pay and allowance ranges.
We jointly advise that the percentage uplift (either 2% or 1%) should apply to all teachers and leaders within the relevant range. We will only support pay policies that reflect this principle. The pay scale points below reflect this principle and are based on the pay ranges in place prior to 1 September 2014. In line with this year’s recommendations they have been uprated by 2% on the Main Pay Range and 1% on all other scale points and allowances.
Where a school pay policy includes pay scale points other than those set out here, we jointly advise that such scale points should be similarly increased (i.e., by 2% for scale points on the Main Pay Range and 1% otherwise, including TLR payments and SEN allowances).
Pay increases for 2017-18
We jointly advise that all teachers should receive an individual pay increase corresponding to the increases set out above, excluding any increase arising from progression to a higher pay scale point. The uplift recommended by the STRB was in response to recruitment and retention problems that affect the whole school system, and appropriate pay increases for all teachers are required to address those problems. The 2017 STPCD provides at Section 2 that "schools must determine – in accordance with their own pay policy – how to take account of the uplift to the national framework in making individual pay progression decisions." These provisions require that teachers should meet relevant performance criteria for progression on their pay scale if eligible, but do not preclude a pay increase consequential upon the revalorisation of pay scales set out in the school’s pay policy.
Notwithstanding our differing positions on the principle of performance-related pay progression, we agree that a distinction can and should be maintained between pay increases arising from progression on pay scales and pay increases arising from the revalorisation of pay scales for cost of living purposes. This is the only way to ensure that the profession returns to a competitive position in the graduate market place.