Four education unions which represent a majority of teachers and school leaders in England have written to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) urging it to ignore government pressure to cap the teachers’ pay award at 2 per cent. The NEU, NAHT, ASCL and Voice unions are calling on the STRB to recommend a fully-funded 5 per cent pay increase in September 2019. The four unions had already written to the STRB with their joint evidence calling for a 5 per cent rise. They have now issued a supplementary statement after secretary of state for education Damian Hinds wrote to the STRB suggesting a 2 per cent rise to be paid from school budgets. The unions say that school funding has been cut in real terms and schools cannot afford more unfunded costs.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT union said ‘Following years of caps damaging to public sector pay, it is disgraceful for the government to suggest another one, this time of 2 per cent. Further depressions to pay will undermine the success of the government’s own recruitment and retention strategy’. Voice general secretary Deborah Lawson said ‘The Government’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy will only succeed if its aspirations are accompanied and complemented by a fully funded pay increase. To do otherwise is to risk failure when there is a teacher recruitment and retention and school funding crisis. We urge the STRB to consider the evidence presented and recommend a fully funded pay raise of 5 per cent’.

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