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Monday, 17 January, 2000, 10:31 GMT
Teachers set for 3% pay rise

classroom Teachers' unions have reacted with disappointment

Teachers in England are expected to get a pay rise of between 3% and 3.5%, when the annual public sector pay settlement is announced on Monday.

A rise of 3%, which would be above the current inflation rate of 2.2%, would be worth about 695 to the teachers at the top of the main classroom teachers' pay scale.

But this annual pay rise will be overshadowed by the government's efforts to introduce performance-related pay for teachers in September.

For successful teachers who pass the ability "threshold", the government has proposed an additional pay increase of around 2,000.

This will mean bigger class sizes. We haven't got the money.
Graham Lane, local authorities' education chairman
A range of merit awards and fast-tracking performance payments could take the best paid classroom teachers to over 35,000 a year.

Although the annual pay rises will continue, the government wants salaries to be tied to more closely to individual teachers' professional progress, signalling a shift away from the set-piece across-the-board pay deals.

The annual pay award has already drawn criticism from local authority employers and teachers' unions.

"This will mean bigger class sizes. We haven't got the money," predicted Graham Lane, education chairman of the Local Government Association.

"Anything above 2.5% means bigger classes, because schools won't be able to afford to take on teachers to meet rising pupil numbers.

doug mcavoy Doug McAvoy says the pay rise is inadequate
"It also means authorities can't bid for government-funded initiatives, because they won't be able to meet their share of the cost."

Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the NUT, said: "This is completely inadequate. Teachers have had several years of pay rises at or below the rate of inflation.

"This will not compensate for the loss they suffered as a result, nor will it do anything to address the growing recruitment crisis in the profession."

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, also said the award was inadequate.

"It will do nothing for recruitment and retention and motivation," he said.

"For as much as half the profession, which is not going to benefit under the new performance-based system, it means a pay rise which is wholly inadequate."

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See also:
22 Nov 99 |  Education
Funding doubts over performance pay
29 Nov 99 |  Green Paper
Teachers seek working hours limit
23 Sep 99 |  Green Paper
Merit pay for best teachers

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