Letters Extra: Facts straightened

21st February 2003 at 00:00

Thenbsp;TES is to be congratulated for its "Fair pay for FE" campaign. Further education makes a vital contribution to our economy, and will play a keynbsp;role in the revised 14-19 curriculum, with its greater vocationalnbsp;emphasis.

Despite this, FE is so often overlooked by politicians. Lecturers' pay has fallen significantly behind that of teachers, andnbsp;support staff pay is also shockingly low.

However, your article "Pay sting in the tail of workload deal" and NUT's "disappointed" advertisement (TES, 14 February) misleadingly link thenbsp;national agreement on teacher workload and the recommended pay increasenbsp;for teachers.

Teachers' pay is not part of the agreement, but negotiated separately with the STRB.

You imply that the agreement's signatories meekly accepted the pay offer. PAT continues to make the case for above-inflation pay increases, andnbsp;described the recommended award as "short-sighted, cynical andnbsp;provocative".

PAT is also opposed to "local scales", but with allowances for high costs.

To quote our STRB evidence: "PAT is opposed to the breakdown of a nationalnbsp;pay structure... Pay levels determined by individual head teachers arenbsp;non-transparent. ...The system of allowances for teachers in London andnbsp;other high cost areas needs a total overhaul."

Jean Gemmell
General Secretary
Professional Association of Teachers (PAT)
2 St James' Court
Friar Gate

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