Unrepresented support staff lose out

1st April 2011 at 01:00

It is right that the small number of teachers earning #163;21,000 or less will receive the #163;250 pay boost ("Fears of classroom rift as support staff are denied #163;250 payment", 25 March), but unfair that support staff on #163;21,000 or less will not, because they do not have a pay review body to recommend it and their local government employers rejected Government policy.

In his written evidence to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB), education secretary Michael Gove said "the Government will look to the pay review bodies to provide recommendations on uplifts". The arguments put forward by the Department for Education to the STRB in respect of the lowest paid unqualified teachers were equally applicable to support staff. It was the Government that abolished the new School Support Staff Negotiating Body.

When I wrote to Mr Gove, he replied: "We do expect local government to strike the right balance between pay restraint and the Government's fairness agenda." Are "right balance" or "fairness" on the agenda? No.

Philip Parkin, General secretary, Voice.

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