Union fury over GTC boss's 20% pay hike

14th August 2009 at 01:00
NASUWT criticises "reckless expenditure"

The general Teaching Council for Wales has come under further attack from teaching unions after it emerged that its chief executive was given a 20 per cent pay rise.

The council's annual report, published this month, shows that Gary Brace's salary rose from pound;65-pound;70,000 in 2007-08 to pound;80-pound;85,000 in 2008-09.

The NASUWT criticised the 21.4 per cent rise as "reckless expenditure" and claimed it would leave teachers "stunned".

Rex Phillips, the union's Wales organiser, said: "There can be no justification for this pay award. It is both scandalous and contemptuous of the teachers that are footing the bill."

David Evans, secretary of NUT Cymru, said the news would "anger a great many teachers" and could cause them to lose faith in the teaching council.

Dr Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, said the timing of the pay rise was "unfortunate", coming just months after it was revealed the body was struggling for cash.

But Mal Davies, chairman of the GTCW, said the figure represented two years' worth of salary increases because Mr Brace chose not to take a pay rise in 2006-07.

The chief executive's salary is decided by committee, based on annual performance, and the rise brings it into line with other chief executives of professional bodies, Mr Davies said.

He said the position comes with a large amount of responsibility, including the management of a budget in excess of pound;10 million.

Earlier this year, TES Cymru revealed how the council was forced to take a series of tough measures to plug a pound;100,000 hole in its 2009-10 budget.

It also wrote to Jane Hutt, the education minister, appealing for her to increase the annual registration fee to teachers, just a year after it was controversially raised by pound;12 to pound;45.

The NASUWT has been outspoken in its criticism of the teaching council since the fee was increased, recently branding it "unfit for purpose" and calling for it to be merged with its English counterpart.

Last month, the union became embroiled in an extraordinary public war of words with the teaching council after it controversially changed its rules on disciplinary hearings without consultation, a move that was also severely criticised by other unions.

The GTCW was also criticised for holding its hearings in luxury hotels in Cardiff, at an average cost of pound;17,400 per hearing.

How pay compares

  • England
    • Keith Bartley, chief executive, GTCE: pound;135,000-pound;140,000

      Number of registered teachers: 538,055

      • Scotland
        • Anthony Finn, chief executive, GTCS: pound;90,000-pound;105,000

          Number of registered teachers: 83,697

          • Wales
            • Gary Brace, chief executive, GTCW: pound;80,000-pound;85,000.

              Number of registered teachers: 38,879

              • Northern Ireland
                • Eddie McArdle, registrar, GTCNI: pound;62,500

                  Number of registered teachers: 27,237.

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