We're paying the price for signing

A letter in last week's TES (December 9) stated that teachers were just waking up to the biggest pay cut ever imposed on them.

This is the consequence of the remodelling agreement signed by every education union bar the National Union of Teachers in 2003. Teachers are paying for that agreement now.

The signatories accepted assurances from the Government about the budget which have proved to be worthless. Trapped in the logic of their decision, they then went further by working out with the Government and employers in the Rewards and Incentives Group (RIG), actual pay cuts for many thousands of hard-working teachers in the form of the Teaching and Learning Rewards.

The RIG clearly stated that the exercise should be cost neutral and should even save money on the global teachers' wage bill.

We now have union leaders rounding on each other to shift the blame,not only for the RIG but for the two-year pay cut imposition which was sneaked through on the day of the pre-Budget statement.

This is the price some union leaders are prepared to pay to be at the top table with the Government.

The NUT never signed up to any of this and has been shut out of national negotiations ever since.

Our local and national officials are working flat out to mitigate the effects of the TLR mess and, as far as we are concerned, December 31 is irrelevant.

The union is in a trades dispute and we reserve the right to take any actions within the law to defend our members, including working with members in other unions who feel the same way.

Bill Anderson, Birmingham NUT co Park Hill primary school Moseley, Birmingham

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