Teachers unhappy over pay award

24 Jan 02
The teaching unions have given a lukewarm response to the 3.5% pay award announced for English and Welsh schoolteachers for 2002.

25 January 2002

The award, which takes effect from April 1, will increase the starting salary for a newly qualified teacher to £17,628. In addition, the main salary scale for teachers will be shortened from September. It will then take around five years to reach the highest salary point, instead of the current seven.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, told Public Finance the increase would do nothing to tackle the recruitment problems that are plaguing many schools.

'It's a modest increase that doesn't do a great deal for Mr and Mrs Average. It's quite good from the point of view of beating inflation, but it doesn't do anything to help teaching salaries catch up with other professions,' he said.

The National Union of Teachers was more forthright in its criticism of the pay rise, which was recommended by the School Teachers' Review Body and accepted by Education Secretary Estelle Morris. As the announcement was made on January 23, the union said the new starting salary would still be £1,898 lower than the overall graduate starting salary.

NUT general secretary Doug McAvoy accused the government of doing too little to show teachers that it valued their work. 'The government has failed to appreciate the damage this will do to teacher recruitment, retention and morale. The government continues to undervalue teachers,' he said.


Did you enjoy this article?