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LGA SLAMS 'INEPT' TEACHERS' PAY BODY

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The Local Government Association wants a radical overhaul of teachers' pay settlements, dismissing the pay review b...
The Local Government Association wants a radical overhaul of teachers' pay settlements, dismissing the pay review body as 'inept' and out of step with reality.

A consultation paper due this month from the LGA and the Local Government Management Board will put three options for change, including a return to national negotiations between employers and unions.

LGA education chair Graham Lane said he was confident education ministers and the Treasury accepted that the current system had problems and would accept the call for change.

He said it was essential to unite talks on pay and conditions of service. Recommendations from the pay review body had an enormous impact on local authority funds, but bore 'no relation to economic reality or government policy' and it was 'totally inept' on conditions of service.

The paper will propose national negotiations with some allowance for government intervention, a body made up of unions and employers with government representatives to provide independence or a revamped body including unions.

Employer/union groups already meet to discuss failing schools, advanced skills teachers and education action zones, Mr Lane said.

Unions are split on the idea. Eamonn O'Kane, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/ Union of Women Teachers, said the union 'totally and utterly opposed' scrapping the review body, which had done an efficient job and had teacher support. But the union would back a committee to work alongside the review body on conditions of service, he said.

The National Union of Teachers said negotiations should be reinstated, and the union had always opposed the establishment of a pay review body.

Unions should be fully consulted and the LGA would support separate negotiations for headteachers, Mr Lane said.

The LGA would confirm its preferred option and publish the consultation paper at the end of the month, he added.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Teachers conference this week voted for a week's strike over working hours. Against its leadership line, members voted for industrial action to fight for what would amount to a four-day week.

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