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Employer alarm at pay rises

INFLATION-busting pay rises for teachers cannot be justified, the national employers' organisation has warned.

Just four days before the Government announces the increases,employers were pressing for an increase based on inflation - currently 1.4 per cent.

An announcement on salaries is expected in Parliament on Tuesday amid widespread predictions of a 3.5 per cent rise for teachers.

This week Graham Lane, chair of the National Employers' Organisation for School Teahers, said councils were seriously worried they would not be able to afford the increase. In a letter this week, Mr Lane warned Education Secretary David Blunkett that the push to raise standards could be hampered unless Government gave authorities more money.

"No one can deny that the overall financial settlement is an improvement on previous years," he said. "However, there remains a considerable backlog of demands caused by the under-spending of previous years."

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