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UK: 2.5% Increase is No Pay Rise

The UK government has accepted a recommendation from the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to increase all salary points by 2.5% in 2006 and a further 2.5% in 2007.

Unions, however, have reacted angrily to the news, saying it will do little to improve retention and or to solve issues of staff morale as it may barely keep up with inflation. Steve Sinnott , General secretary of EI affiliate the NUT, said: "Teachers' pay next September when this rise is implemented will be no better than it is today. Hard work and commitment are not recognised in this imposed settlement. "There was still a struggle to recruit and retain sufficient teachers despite the government's 'golden handshakes' and other measures. They are not working and this standstill award in teachers' pay will not change that." Chris Keates, General Secretary of EI affiliate NASUWT concurred: "As the pay award spans two years and predictions on inflation more than a year ahead are difficult, agreement on a realistic review clause is needed to maintain and protect teachers' living standards.” The UK government plans to link pay progression to the outcomes of teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD). While welcoming the Government’s recognition of the importance of CPD to teachers’ careers, unions believe that linking it to performance-related pay (PRP) will fundamentally harm teachers’ professional development. Steve Sinnott said: “This pay freeze means teachers and teaching are undervalued. It follows the freezing of management allowances for three years and their replacement by a TLR system intended to reduce the teachers’ pay bill. Now the NUT calls on all teachers to join our campaign for better pay.”