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Labour supporter feels betrayed

For as long as she can remember, Sheila has been an ardent supporter of the Labour party.

But that was before this year's pay review. Now her opinion of the new Government has totally changed and she feels utterly let down by its behaviour.

Sheila, head of the nursery at a primary school in the West Midlands, is only grateful that she is not married to another teacher. If she had been, she knows there is no possible way that she would be able to manage to keep up with their monthly mortgage payments.

She feels the Government has failed to give teachers any positive support yet is expecting more and more from them. Admission paperwork, including forms and receipts, has increased her workload enormously yet to Sheila her salary underlines the fact that her work is not valued.

To Sheila and her colleagues, the job never stops. Once the children have left for the day it is time to plan for tomorrow and when the teachers need to have meetings they have no alternative but to meet outside school hours.

After 16 years of teaching, Sheila is on point 11 of the pay spine, earning Pounds 24,777 a year. She is losing Pounds 36.50 a month from the phased pay increases and, with three children and a child-minder to consider, life is not easy.

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