Teachers’ Pay – the new regime – individual pay bargaining?
Are there really big changes planned for teachers’ pay?
Yes. The plans outlined by the Review Body and agreed by the Secretary of State, Mr Gove, will end
national pay scales.
Who decides our pay then? Who negotiates it?
There are no negotiations between the unions and employers over teachers’ pay. There is a Review
Body (which does not contain teachers) which is given a remit by the Secretary of State – they are
told what to consider. The Review Body takes evidence from the Government, employers and the
unions. It comes to a conclusion and produces a report with recommendations. The report goes to
Government & they decide whether or not to accept the recommendations.
So what has happened this year?
The Government asked the review body to consider how to make teachers pay more flexible. The
Review Body was also asked, as a part of that, to consider local pay.
The Review Body has not proposed local pay – instead they have proposed that each school should
determine its own pay rates, within certain parameters. It sees this as an interim solution.
So what has actually been proposed?
The Main Scale & Upper Pay Scale will remain.
However, for both scales a minimum and maximum level will be set.
There will be no mandatory points within those scales. Advisory points will, for the time being, be
published for the Main Scale.
An NQT will be appointed on M1 and would, at the end of a successful induction year, progress to
M2. After that, progress up the Main scale will be by excellence & performance only. Experience
increments disappear. Progress may be slow or fast. The amount of any increase will be up to the
school – it will not have to be the same for everyone. M6 will be considered the rate for the job.
Movement from Main Scale to UPS will be by application. Successful candidates will be “highly
competent classroom teachers”, with “the potential and commitment to undertake professional
duties which make a wider contribution beyond their own classroom”. Movement up UPS will be at
the school’s discretion, but based on performance management. There will not be the need for two
successful performance managements between each increase. The amount of any performance
increase will be school determined.
Main scale and UPS salaries will not be portable. Currently, if you move from one school to another,
you keep your Main Scale or UPS salary. In future you would have to negotiate your starting salary
in a new job.
Advanced Skilled Teachers and Excellent Teacher scale will be abolished; schools will be able to
award “off scale” payments within certain limits for the most successful teachers in roles similar to
those of current ASTs.
TLRs will remain much as now with one addition. There will scope to establish fixed term TLRs with
payments of between £500 and £2500. These payments must be determined before the time
limited role begins and must be paid in monthly instalments whilst the role is being carried out.
The pay section of the Teachers Pay & Conditions Document (Blue Book) will be simplified. This
means there will be fewer rules about how pay must be awarded & each school will have more
discretion or flexibility!
When will these changes happen?
Will anyone have their pay cut?
Pay will not be cut directly, but expectations of pay progression for many teachers will no longer be
Is there any consultation on these proposals?
The Government is currently consulting on the IMPLEMENTATION of these changes. This really
means the technical issues around the proposals. It is not a consultation about whether they should
happen or not. The Government has already decided that.
How is the Government going to ensure its changes are implemented?
Ofsted will be charged with ensuring that management & Governors implement the changes!
Will this be an end to the changes?
No. These pay proposals are interim changes. The Review Body wants to look at TLRs and also at
simplifying conditions of service.
When will we get a pay rise?
Taking into account inflation and extra pension payments, teachers pay has dropped by 11.7% since
September 2010. The Government has said that there will be a 1% uplift in both 2013-14 and 2014-
15. However, not all teachers may get this 1% - it will depend on how the school implements the
new rules. Even with a 1% increase the total pay cut from Sept 2009 to Sept 2014 will be 15.7%
This new system sounds like bad news for teachers’ pay rates. It seems to
mean that some teachers will get pay rises, but not others, even in the same
Absolutely true. In the future it will mean lower pay for most teachers. It will also mean individual
teachers arguing for their own pay rises.
How can this be stopped?
Teachers should talk about this in staff rooms and school union meetings. The NUT & NASUWT are
meeting nationally to consider the next steps. Both unions already have a successful ballot which
would allow teachers to be called out on strike if that was considered appropriate.
Once you have met as a school group let your local secretary know how members feel.
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