Coalition facing clash with unions over teachers’ pay

Britain’s biggest classroom unions suggested that staff could launch fresh industrial action in protest at the plans introduced to reward the best teachers while punishing poor performance. This is from the Telegraph…

The NASUWT warned that “resistance across the profession” was growing by the day and the Government’s attitudes towards the teaching workforce would be its “undoing”.

The National Union of Teachers insisted that the move – being introduced from this September – would lead to a decline in staff morale and lead to a recruitment crisis in schools.

Both unions, which represent around nine-in-10 teachers, are already taking part in long-running work-to-rule action in protest over changes to pensions and a freeze in staff pay.

It is believed the latest decision will inflame tensions further and could lead to calls for all-out strike action in coming months.The NUT’s ruling executive has already agreed to “build towards strike action in the spring term” between January and April.

As reported in the Telegraph, the new salary structure will spell the end of year-on-year pay rises – typically worth around £2,000 – based on the length of teachers’ service.

In its place, heads will be given complete freedom to assess staff performance in the classroom each year and award pay rises to the best teachers. Existing salary structures will be retained as a guide but will not be binding on schools.

Teachers in London and the Home Counties will continue to receive extra pay to reflect the cost of living in the south-east.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said the changes would “give schools greater freedom to develop pay policies that are tailored to their school’s needs and circumstances and to reward their teachers in line with their performance”.

But Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said an official consultation into the proposals was a “sham”.

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