The National Union of Teachers has made a 10% pay claim for staff in England and Wales from September 2008.
The union says teachers' wages are being eroded once again
It wants a minimum award of £3,000 and an end to the separate, performance-related upper pay scale.
The NUT calls on the School Teachers' Review Body to ignore the government's 2% public sector pay rise target.
The government has still not responded to the review body's request for a fresh remit to review this year's 2.5% rise, in light of higher inflation.
Consumer price inflation (CPI) was 2.8% last month and the Retail Prices Index was 4.5%.
The NUT's submission to the body says: "The government must renew its investment in teachers to secure the high quality education service that is its aim.
"This means pay levels for teachers that are competitive with comparable employment in both private and public sectors, along with matching opportunities for pay and career progression."
It also rejects the government's insistence on the use of the CPI, which excludes housing costs, as the basis for pay settlements.
The NUT said that, at current salary levels, young teachers were ruled out of the house buying market in more than three quarters of cities and towns throughout England and Wales.
Average starting salaries among those joining major graduate employers were 14% (£2,785) higher than for graduate teachers - who also have to complete an extra year's training, the union said.
After three years in the job that gap grew to £9,000, it said.
General secretary Steve Sinnott said: "For more than 30 years teaching has faced boom and bust.
"Each time salaries are brought more closely into line with that of comparable occupations, it is not very long till decline sets in yet again.
"This is an illustration of the failure of successive governments to recognise the importance of the teaching profession to society. It must stop."
Mr Sinnott said the suggested rise would encourage more graduates to choose teaching as a career.
However, a group campaigning for lower taxes, maintained that getting rid of bureaucracy was the way to attract more people into the profession.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the BBC: "I think teachers should be given a lot more scope and independence to teach as they want to teach.
"And I think we get a better education system through that but also I think crucially we get a better motivated staff as well."