Teachers' pay offer
WORKERS, FEB 2008 ISSUE
Teachers in England and Wales have been offered a three-year pay deal which breaks the Treasury's public sector cap of 2 per cent. The government has accepted the review board's recommendation of 2.45 per cent this year, followed by two years of 2 per cent but with a review next year.
The figures and 2009 review have been influenced by a strong initial campaigning position adopted by the NUT, echoed in part by the NAS/UWT, that teachers would not tolerate a low offer this year. There has been much fighting talk, and good campaign literature sent out to NUT members. The NUT executive is due to decide on a strike ballot as Workers goes to press.
The government has made a clever offer, wanting to remove teachers from potential public sector pay bother over the winter. But with inflation running even on official figures (Retail Prices Index) at 4 per cent (including housing, fuel and energy) this offer is a pay cut. Schools will receive only 2.1 per cent to pay for increased salaries.
The NAS/UWT will poll members, although general secretary Chris Keates has broadly welcomed the deal. The NUT predicts a "robust response". The real problem, hardly mentioned, is that teachers have no negotiating rights.