The Government and the School Teachers’ Review Body fixed teachers’ salary increases for September 2006 and September 2007 at 2.5 percent – below inflation.
Steve Sinnott, the NUT union general secretary, recently said, “The 2.5 percent increase received by teachers on 1 September 2006 and the levels of inflation measured by the RPI have resulted in a real cut in teachers’ pay which should be remedied without delay.”
Teachers are rightly angry about government plans to keep public sector workers’ pay down.
Ken Muller, a teacher from London, told Socialist Worker what he thought this weekend’s NUT conference should be calling for. “Teachers should be giving the maximum support for the PCS strike on 1 May,” he said.
“The NUT should approach other teaching unions and public sector workers about coordinated strike action over the government’s below inflation pay deals.”
The government’s attacks on public sector workers’ pay needs to be met with united action across the sectors involved.
If teachers, nurses, council workers and other workers affected by chancellor Gordon Brown’s 2 percent pay cap take action, then together they can bring the country to a standstill.
Pay is a particularly pressing problem for new teachers.
Ken said, “I know one young teacher who is having real difficulty in being able to afford somewhere to live.
“She was offered a key worker part-rent part-buy flat – but on her wages couldn’t get the mortgage even for 40 percent.”
Pay is due to be discussed by conference on Saturday morning – with motions on London weighting, performance related pay and defending national pay bargaining.
For more information on pay and the conference go to www.socialist-teacher.org