Pay or not to pay

27th February 2009 at 00:00

I am pleased The TES continues to cover the teachers' pay issue but surprised that you describe the NUT's pay proposals as seeking a "bonus payment" for teachers ("NUT demands 10 per cent pay hike plus cash bonus", TES, February 20).

Teachers' pay increases since 2004 have been below inflation every year. In real terms, teachers are 6 per cent worse off - taking Pounds 1,000 a year from NQTs and much more from older teachers. This situation should never have been allowed to occur. The NUT is seeking an increase from September 2009 which reverses that pay cut and puts teachers' pay back to where it was in 2004. Hardly a "bonus payment".

Further steps will then be needed to make teachers' pay competitive for the longer term. Our submission to the School Teachers' Review Body and accompanying research shows teachers start on lower pay than in other professions and then fall further behind.

Graduates' interest in teaching is in long-term decline. Pay is a part of the reason.

We cannot rely on the recession to improve matters - previous experience shows that when the economy improves, graduates will again look elsewhere.

Tim Harrison, London regional secretary, National Union of Teachers.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now