4 schooling unions representing tons of of hundreds of academics and leaders have rejected the federal government’s pay freeze for 2021, and referred to as on the Faculty Lecturers’ Overview Physique to defy ministers’ needs and suggest an increase.
The ASCL and NAHT management unions, together with the Nationwide Training Union and Voice, warned in a joint assertion at this time that the freeze introduced for many public sector employees final yr “will inflict yet one more real-terms reduce to instructor and faculty chief pay”.
Lecturers and faculty leaders are key employees. They should be rewarded and valued, not singled out for assault
They’ve demanded “fully-funded restoration of the true phrases pay cuts since 2010”, and referred to as on the STRB to suggest “a big and undifferentiated pay improve for September 2021”.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced on the spending evaluate final autumn that public sector employees incomes over £24,000 would have their pay frozen this yr, with these incomes beneath the edge set to obtain an increase of not less than £250.
Nevertheless, proof set out by the federal government this morning in its submission to the STRB revealed that it expects simply 6,400 unqualified academics to be eligible for an increase, as a result of the overwhelming majority of academics earn greater than £24,000.
The STRB makes suggestions to authorities on instructor pay primarily based on a remit set by ministers. On this yr’s remit letter, schooling secretary Gavin Williamson ordered the physique to “mirror the federal government’s coverage on exercising restraint on public sector pay awards” in its suggestions.
Overview physique ought to ‘refuse to be constrained’
However of their joint assertion, to the STRB, the 4 unions urged it to “refuse to be constrained by the Authorities’s political selections and to mirror in its report the complete vary of things related to the pay and situations framework”.
“We additionally name on the STRB to set out in its report the pay improve it could have beneficial for September 2021 – and we name on the STRB to current that as a proper advice,” they stated.
Instructor pay has regularly elevated in recent times following a interval between 2013 and 2018 when public sector pay rises have been capped at 1 per cent, resulting in real-terms cuts in pay.
Pay for some classroom academics rose by 3.5 per cent in 2018, however the authorities ignored the STRB’s advice that the rise be utilized throughout the board, giving extra skilled academics an increase of simply 2 per cent and leaders 1.5 per cent.
In 2019, ministers accepted the STRB’s suggestions of a 2.75 per cent rise throughout all pay ranges. And final yr, ministers raised salaries for brand new academics by 5.5 per cent and different grades by 2.75 per cent.
The unions stated “assaults” on instructor pay since 2010 had “precipitated lasting injury”.
Asserting the pay freeze for 2021 final yr, Sunak stated he couldn’t justify a “vital throughout the board pay improve for all public sector employees” given the “tough context” confronted by the non-public sector.
Authorities accused of utilizing pandemic
However the 4 unions at this time accused the federal government of making an attempt to “use the impression of the pandemic to justify additional assaults on pay, regardless of the massive contribution made by academics and faculty leaders to the nationwide response”.
“Lecturers and faculty leaders are key employees. They should be rewarded and valued, not singled out for assault. A demoralised and under-valued workforce is unlikely to have the ability to ship the continued assist our youngsters and younger individuals want, notably those that have suffered a detriment because of the disruption attributable to the pandemic.”
They’ve additionally repeated warnings that the rise in instructor recruitment seen final yr, utilized by the federal government to additional justify the pay freeze, could be “momentary and restricted”.
The DfE itself has admitted the positive factors because of the pandemic and ensuing monetary disaster could be “brief time period”.
Geoff Barton, basic secretary of ASCL, stated freezing instructor and management pay could be a “false economic system”.
“Not solely does it ship a horrible message to loyal public servants, however it is going to additionally injury employees retention and undermine the federal government’s mantra that schooling is a nationwide precedence.”
Paul Whiteman, chief of the NAHT, stated the federal government “must make the case for a decades-long profession in educating, and routinely freezing pay is not any method to do this”.
The DfE was approached for remark.