Commenting on HM Treasury’s Economic Evidence to Review Bodies ahead of a pay review, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"The Treasury evidence to the pay review bodies is already being spun as a ‘warning shot’ not to recommend significant pay increases after the end of the pay freeze.
"The Government can afford to restore public sector pay but this evidence implies it has made a different political choice.
"The Government claims it is ending the pay freeze - but a pay limit of 3% when inflation is 5% is no different to a pay freeze when inflation is 2%.
"The NEU thinks that this country cannot afford to even further erode the value of teachers’ pay - otherwise we will continue to fail to recruit and lose experienced teachers. In fact, real-terms increases are needed to ensure teacher salaries are competitive with other graduate pay.
"Since 2010, pay freezes and below-inflation pay increases have hit educator living standards hard and damaged the competitive position of teaching against other graduate employment. Teacher recruitment targets were missed for eight years in a row up until the pandemic and a third of teachers leave the profession within five years. The impact of the pandemic temporarily improved teacher recruitment and retention figures, but the legacy of years of under-recruitment and the loss of teachers from the profession remains.
"The Treasury evidence presents a false choice between public and private sector pay. Public sector workers spend their pay in the private sector, so freezing public sector pay has caused huge damage to the private sector too. Private sector earnings growth is again well ahead of the public sector.
"It's time for the Government to value educators and other public sector workers. The Government must fund and implement the restoration of their pay as well as urgent action on workload. We need to Value Educators and Value Education."