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Nigel de Gruchy, NAS/UWT
"I welcome the review bodies recommendation to pay good teachers more money"
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Tuesday, 1 February, 2000, 18:44 GMT
Pay deal meets mixed reception
Teachers are to receive 3.3% extra plus performance pay
The government's proposals for teachers' pay have met with a mixed response from unions and local government employers.

"Teachers have no cause for celebration. Year after year they have seen their salaries fall further behind those available outside teaching," said Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the biggest teachers' union, the National Union of Teachers.

Despite the claims of the education secretary that the 3.3% pay increase plus the prospect of a larger performance-related pay rise represented a good deal, Mr McAvoy said that teachers' salaries were still lagging behind other professions.

Doug McAvoy
Doug McAvoy of the NUT says the promise of performance pay is a "deception"
"The promise of higher salaries through payment by results is a deception. Only a limited number teachers will gain the 2,000 uplift and not until September," said Mr McAvoy.

But the Association of Teachers and Lecturers welcomed the pay award as "realistic and sensible" and forecast that "when teachers understand what is being proposed they will buy into it".

And the union's general secretary, Peter Smith, warned that local authorities should not seek to fund the pay rises with redundancies.

But the education spokesman for the Local Government Association, Graham Lane, has claimed that the pay rise could only be implemented with savings elsewhere - such as cutting support for the government's literacy campaign.

Peter Smith
Peter Smith of the ATL says the pay award is "realistic and sensible"
Mr Lane said the government's funding package for local authorities only allowed for an extra 2.5% for teachers' pay - leaving a 110m shortfall.

One of the main headteachers' unions said that the "jury was out" on whether the increases would be sufficient to attract bright graduates and overcome the persistent problems with recruiting graduates into teaching.

"An award of 3.35%, which compares unfavourably with the rise in average earnings, and which for many teachers is all they will receive this year, may simply not do the trick when it comes to recruitment, retention and motivation," said David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers.

'Falling behind'

The leader of the second-largest teachers' union, Nigel de Gruchy of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said the pay deal still left teachers' salaries falling behind comparable professions.

"Every government is the same. They all want a Rolls-Royce education service powered by a Mini Metro engine."

The Secondary Heads Association said it believed the overall increase of 3.3% would not be enough to attract the brightest and best young graduates into teaching.

But it did like the recognition of the importance of the role of deputy heads and senior teachers, and the new upper pay scale.

Its greatest concern was whether schools could afford the reforms.

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See also:

01 Feb 00 | Education
Teachers offered 3.3% pay rise
19 Jan 00 | Education
Teachers call for more pay
18 Jan 00 | Education
Lecturers demand 30% pay rise
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