Commenting on the Government's announcement on teacher pay in England following the publication of the School Teachers' Review Body report, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“The Government's confirmation of its plans to implement a pay freeze for teachers and other public sector employees is completely unacceptable. Teachers and other education staff are key workers - all of whom have contributed hugely to the country's pandemic response.
“As the economy recovers from the pandemic, inflation is rising and pay in the wider economy is going up. A pay freeze will mean that teachers see their pay cut against inflation and will make teacher pay still less competitive against other graduate professions. The latest School Teachers' Review Body report expresses serious concerns about the competitiveness of teacher pay and the consequences for teacher supply.
The pay freeze will compound the damage caused by a decade of real terms pay cuts for teachers in the 2010s, which has left the teaching profession with major recruitment and retention problems. The lessening of these problems during the pandemic will disappear as soon as the economy restarts.
“Instead of continuing with its unjustified pay cuts and unfair pay system, the Government must listen to teachers, school leaders and the evidence. Instead of a pay freeze which is in reality a pay cut, we need a pay increase for all teachers and school leaders which takes a significant step towards restoring the cuts to the real value of teacher pay since 2010. This must be accompanied by the removal of performance related pay and the restoration of a transparent and fair national pay structure. These measures are essential to support teacher supply and education as we recover from the pandemic.
“Teachers and support staff in schools and colleges deserve a pay rise after their efforts during the pandemic. The NEU campaign against pay cuts and for fair pay for all education staff will continue.”
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