Justine Greening should disregard proposals drawn up by the teachers’ pay review body and give it permission to issue new recommendations which bust the public sector pay cap, the NASUWT teaching union has said.
The union’s call to the education secretary comes amid growing pressure on the government to scrap the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay increases.
On Sunday the environment secretary, Michael Gove, said the government should listen to and accept the recommendations of the public sector pay review bodies when setting salary increases.
But Chris Keates, the NASUWT’s general secretary, said his comments were “disingenuous” because the review bodies had been asked to develop their recommendations within the context of the 1 per cent cap and have already submitted their reports to the government.
“The call made by the [environment secretary] over the weekend for ministers to accept the recommendations of the public sector pay review bodies is disingenuous and a blatant attempt to mislead the public,” she said.
“All relevant government departments, including the Department for Education, are already in receipt of those reports. Ministers already know what they contain and have known for some time.”
Ms Keates said the government had “sought to compromise the independence of the review bodies” by instructing them to keep their recommendations within the 1 per cent cap. In December, the DfE’s submission to the School Teachers’ Review Body said it must consider its options with the context of the cap.
In a letter sent to Ms Greening, Ms Keates urged the education secretary to “suspend any discretionary application of STRB pay recommendations”.
Instead, she called on her to issue the review body with a “new remit…requiring a further report on teachers’ pay to be produced before the end of the autumn term 2017”.
Ms Keates said the new report must be “free from not only the constraints of the pay cap but also from pressure from ministers and the Treasury”.
The DfE said: "We are considering the STRB recommendations and will be responding in due course."