The Guardian reports that Britain’s largest teaching union is calling for a 5% pay increase for school staff – buoyed by the announcement of a 6.5% settlement for nurses and NHS staff – backed by a campaign to include possible strike action.
The annual conference of the National Union of Teachers, shortly to merge and become the National Education Union, will consider a motion for a pay claim of 5% alongside other school unions, and ask that the increase be funded by the government rather than from existing school budgets.
Kevin Courtney, the union’s general secretary, applauded the government’s ending of some austerity-era pay policies.
“There is some optimism in that the government is starting to move. But we think when teachers around the country, and students considering coming into teaching, look at the salaries, they see it is not competitive with other graduate salaries,” Courtney said.
The NEU and other teaching unions recently met with the government’s pay advisors, the School Teachers Review Body (STRB), which later this year will recommend a pay settlement.
The proposal to be considered at the conference later this month will call on the government to fully fund any pay rise and lays the groundwork for industrial action through canvassing members.
The NUT conference in Brighton over Easter will be its last separate annual conference following its merger with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) to form the National Education Union. ATL will hold its last separate annual conference the following weekend.
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