'Non-contact time doesn't pay bills'

7th February 2003 at 00:00
WARREN Park primary in Havant, Hampshire, has 400 pupils and is in one of the poorest wards in southern England on the edge of a very large council estate.

Head Colin Harris, 45, earns about pound;50,000 and has been teaching for 24 years. A 2.9 per cent increase gives him a rise of pound;27.10 a week.

"This pay deal will have worrying effects on recruitment and retention. Pay in the private sector is already light years ahead of teachers' salaries, and the gap will be even wider. Even in an area like this house prices have risen massively and it is impossible for new teachers to afford their own home."

Deputy head Derek Boulter, 53, has been teaching 32 years and earns pound;37,000. His salary will go up to pound;38,000, an extra pound;20.70 a week.

"This increase is dire. It shows that despite the rhetoric, the Government still takes teachers for granted. We were hopeful in 1997 things would change, but this Government is as bad as the last and teachers' salaries have been left behind."

Teacher Ros Bayliss, 25, earns pound;20,500, and has been teaching for four years. Her pay will rise to pound;21,000, an increase of pound;12.30 a week. "People don't go into teaching for the money, so I don't think anyone will be surprised by this deal.

"But if the Government is serious about recruitment and retention it has to increase pay significantly. Friends who graduated with me earn at least pound;10,000 more. That's frustrating, but I love my job and wouldn't do anything else. I'm lucky though because my husband earns a good wage."

Post-threshold teacher Elaine Shapiro, 45, earns pound;28,000 and has been in teaching for eight years. Her salary will increase to pound;29,000, an extra pound;15.50 a week.

"The Government attempt at cutting workload by introducing more non-contact time is no compensation for a decent pay rise. Non-contact time doesn't pay the bills."

Newly-qualified teacher Tom Brannigan, 40, earns pound;17,500. His pay will rise to just more than pound;18,000, an increase of pound;9.80 a week.

"I gave up a successful company to go into teaching because I believe it's a worthwhile profession. But this pay increase is an insult.

"We should get the same sort of money as company directors as what we do in the classroom is equivalent to running a small business. My wife earns pound;50,000 working for an IT company and says she could never do what I do because of the hours and the amount of work involved."

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