Teachers in England Offered 3% Pay Rise, but it’s Not Enough

Teachers in England have been offered a pay rise of 3%, but unions are warning that this may not be enough to avert strikes. The School Teachers’ Review Body, the independent panel that advises the government on pay, is said to have told the Department for Education (DfE) that its proposal for a 3% rise of 5% is inadequate and instead recommended a 5% rise. However, with inflation currently at 3%, this would still be a pay cut in real terms.

 

Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), welcomed the suggestion of a 5% pay rise but warned that strikes may still be called if the offer is not improved. She said: “The NEU remains concerned that the government is not adequately funding pay for all school teachers. We have been clear that anything less than a 5% pay rise for all teachers would be derisory and represent a real-terms pay cut.”

 

The DfE said it was “disappointed” by the review body’s recommendations and was “considering them carefully”. The Treasury will make a final decision on pay.

So far, no strikes have been called, but the possibility remains if the government does not improve its offer. Ms Bousted warned: “The ball is now in the government’s court. If they don’t make a significantly improved offer, industrial action will be on the table.”

The post-16 education sector is also facing industrial action over pay, with further education colleges in England set to be hit by strikes in the coming weeks. Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) are set to walk out on 5 November in a dispute over pay and conditions.

(This is an extract from an article on the BBC News website. You can read the full article here)

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In December, Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, told the STRB he wanted a 3% pay increase for experienced teachers next year and 2% the following year, as well as a steeper rise for recent recruits, as part of a Conservative manifesto commitment for teachers starting salaries to be raised to £30,000 a year. However, according to the Daily Telegraph, the cost of living has made Zahawi’s proposal outdated. Last month caused England’s two major teaching unions, the National Education Union and the NASUWT, to threaten to hold strike ballots later this year.

 

The School Teachers’ Review Body is said to have told the Department for Education (DfE) that its proposal for a 3% rise for experienced teachers next year and a 5% rise for recent recruits is inadequate and instead recommended a 5% raise for all teachers. However, with inflation currently at 3%, this would still be a pay cut in real terms.

 

Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), welcomed the suggestion of a 5% pay rise but warned that strikes may still be called if the offer is not improved. She said: “The NEU remains concerned that the government is not adequately funding pay for all school teachers. We have been clear that anything less than a 5% pay rise for all teachers would be derisory and represent a real-terms pay cut.”

 

The DfE said it was “disappointed” by the review body’s recommendations and was “considering them carefully”. The Treasury will make a final decision on pay.

 

In addition to the pay dispute, teachers in England are also unhappy about increasing workloads and falling morale levels. A recent survey by the NEU found that three-quarters of respondents said they were considering leaving the profession due to excessive workloads.

 

So far, no strikes have been called, but the possibility remains if the government does not improve its offer. Ms Bousted warned: “The ball is now in the government’s court. If they don’t make a significantly improved offer, industrial action will be on the table.”

 

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