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UNIONS JOIN TOGETHER ON TEACHER PAY SUBMISSION

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Five teacher unions have come together to demand a fundamental change to ...
Five teacher unions have come together to demand a fundamental change to

salary structure and conditions of service as part of a joint STRB

submission.

ATL, NASUWT, NUT, PAT and the Welsh teachers' union, UCAC have agreed

proposals on salary levels, structure, conditions of service and the review

of the threshold arrangements.

The submission highlighted the recruitment and retention crisis, saying that

without substantial improvements in overall salary levels, the problems

would worsen. Short-term measures by the government such as 'Golden

Hellos', Welcome Back bonuses and Fast Track could not solve the crisis.

Instead, the submission argued for a coherent and fundamental change in

teachers' salary structure and conditions of service like those in Scotland

following the McCrone Report.

Demands for change include:

- A shortened salary scale of six points rising to£28,000 for all

main scale teachers

- Teachers to move to a chartered teacher scale, as part of continued

professional development and good classroom practice, up to£43,000

- Posts of meaningful additional responsibilities should be identified

and assigned through a 'job sizing' agreement

Peter Smith, general secretary of ATL said:

'This is not trade union pious, pie in the sky. It is straightforward

common sense. The teachers' pay system must be simplified and teachers must

be paid more.

'Only measures along these lines will begin to solve the current recruitment

crisis.'

Eamonn O'Kane, general secretary (designate) of NASUWT said:

'This is an impressive and cogent submission which underlines in emphatic

fashion the unified view of the teacher organisations on the critical issues

of salary structure and conditions of service.

'I believe this unity is essential if we are to stand any chance of

achieving the crucial objectives set out in the submission.'

Doug McAvoy, NUT general secretary said:

'I am delighted that the teachers' organisations are once again making a

joint submission. It is particularly important at a time of a teacher

shortage crisis - the solution to which must include significant improved

salaries.'

Notes

1. Conditions of service proposals in the submission underlined the

joint resolutions carried at this year's ATL, NASUWT and NUT conferences

calling for limits on teachers' contracts.

2. The unions will put a further submission on this vital issue after

the PWC Workload Survey is published in November.

A further press release from the NUT follows:

Call for substantial pay increases to combat teacher shortages

Five organisations* representing teachers and headteachers throughout England and Wales have called for a substantial increase in pay to combat teacher shortages.

The claim would increase starting salaries for newly qualified teachers from£17,001 by more than 12.5 per cent to bring them into line with salaries for graduates elsewhere in the economy predicted to be an average of£19,800 in 2001-2 by the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

Under a proposed new structure teachers' pay would rise over five years from this starting point to£28,000 compared with the current salary achieved after five years of£22,035 and after seven years of 24,843.

Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

'Teaching has to compete for graduates in the real world and, as the shortage crisis shows, it can't. With up to a£2,800 shortfall in pay for newly qualified teachers, the profession has no hope of recruiting sufficient young graduates and of retaining them.

'After just three years the gap between teachers and other graduates widens to 47 per cent and after five years to 75 per cent. That is why teaching is an unsustainable profession. This position is worse than it was last year.

'The threshold should be replaced by a salary structure similar to that in Scotland. If the government insists on retaining the threshold, then the pupil progress standard must go, ending payment by results.

'The government has admitted that the drop out rate from teaching is extremely high.

Almost 50 per cent of young people who qualify are lost to the profession within three years. Yet it refuses to address the causes of this drain from the profession. It cannot continue to pretend that the shortage crisis is a phenomenon confined to one part of the country or that it is a short term problem.

'Teachers' pay must be competitive but teachers' conditions of service must also protect teachers. The introduction of a 35 hour week in Scotland has shown the way. Indeed applications to the Scottish GTC to teach in Scotland have jumped by 59 per cent in the first six months of this year. More than two-thirds of applicants are from outside Scotland and the vast majority come from England.

'Scotland, by improving teachers' pay and their working conditions is not facing a crisis in teacher supply: south of the border that crisis is deepening. The government must learn the lesson from Scotland.'

*The six teachers organisations are:

National Union of Teachers, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, Professional Association of Teachers and Uneb Canedlaethol Athrawon Cymru.

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