IWPRB written submission 2024

National Education Union (NEU) Cymru’s evidence to the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body 2024.


Executive Summary

  1. The National Education Union (NEU) Cymru’s evidence to the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB) supports the NEU campaign for a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise that constitutes a meaningful step towards a long-term correction in pay.
  2. NEU Cymru is the largest education union in Wales and we work to shape an education system that works for all.  Our campaign for better pay and conditions for teachers and school leaders is supported by our membership, who represent the majority of teachers and education professionals in Wales and the UK.  Our evidence to the IWPRB reflects what members are telling us about the impact on them and on the education service of Welsh Government policy on pay, workload and funding – which has been impacted by austerity since 2010.
  3. The NEU evidence sets out the overwhelming case for an urgent correction in pay and significant improvements in workload.  We highlight the inadequacy of funding levels and the need for significant additional investment to secure urgent improvements in pay and workload, and therefore in recruitment and retention.
  4. The evidence – from NEU members and the data – is overwhelming.  Current pay rates do not fairly reflect the skills and demands of teaching, nor do anything to secure healthy levels of recruitment and retention.  Whilst we understand that Welsh Government budget is restricted by Westminster – Welsh Government has choices - Welsh Government choices have inflicted damage on teachers, school leaders and our education service. Only a clear signal in the form of a fully funded major pay correction applied equally to all teachers and school leaders can repair the damage and protect teacher supply.
  5. We need policy choices based on the evidence.  Underfunding of teacher and school leader pay since 2010 has resulted in huge pay cuts and teacher shortages across the curriculum, particularly in the Welsh language, making the workload problems worse.  Funding shortages mean we are not investing properly in the skills and potential of young people.   
  6. The fully funded, above-inflation pay rise needed this year for teachers and school leaders must be just the start of a process of urgently restoring the pay lost in real terms since 2010. 
  7. There must also be a collectively agreed package of improvements to pay and conditions with the objective of creating a pay structure and pay levels capable of supporting teachers, school leaders and the education service in the long term.  The steps already taken to restore a national pay structure in Wales and remove performance-related pay (PRP) must be built on, with effective mechanisms to prevent unfair pay outcomes and further improvements to pay structure arrangements.  Significant and effective action to reduce workload is also urgently needed.
  8. This is the big picture on teacher pay and conditions, which the IWPRB and Welsh Government must address.  A focus on sticking plaster initiatives, such as “Priority Subject Incentives,” will only cause further damage, as the fundamental problems are ignored. 
  9. The damage caused by pay cuts and sky-high workload has been obvious for many years, and the need for better pay and conditions is equally obvious. 
  10. We believe there is an opportunity for IWPRB to set out the pay recommendations needed to value, recruit and retain teachers and school leaders. We believe that IWPRB needs to take this opportunity to show Welsh Government what is needed to ensure we have enough teachers in Wales – including an above inflation pay rise and full pay restoration. 
  11. The Welsh Government-appointed IWPRB needs to do more to protect teachers and school leaders.  Negotiating rights for teachers and school leaders must be restored.
  12. Educators, parents, and pupils know that we can’t afford more of the same. We can’t protect our education service unless we value teachers and school leaders properly.  If the Welsh Government doesn’t act now to repair the damage to pay levels and workload, the education service will plunge further into crisis.
  13. The action by NEU members in Wales in 2023 was taken to protect our education service.  NEU Cymru members know that attacks on pay and conditions are attacks on the education service.  They understand that we cannot hope to secure the improvements that are urgently needed to repair teacher pay and supply, in the interests of parents and pupils as well as of educators themselves, within the inadequate current funding levels.

NEU Cymru members continue to engage with us on pay and workload issues.  Their strong feedback informs our position.  The real lived experience of teachers and school leaders is a key part 

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