Socialist Worker

Teachers' fight over low pay building up

Issue No. 2083

Teachers in England and Wales are still waiting for the government to announce their pay deal for 2008‑11. The School Teachers Review Body (STRB) on pay gave its recommendations on teachers’ pay to the government in October, but it has yet to respond.

An announcement was due this week, but this has now been delayed for a further two weeks. All indications are that the teachers’ pay award will not exceed Gordon Brown’s pay limit of 2 percent.

“Gordon Brown said unambiguously on Sunday’s Andrew Marr show that his government will oppose any recommendations for public servants that break his pay limits,” said Nick Grant from the NUT teachers’ union in Ealing.

“He has the gall to claim that this is necessary to shackle inflation. But energy, fuel, food and housing prices are rocketing. Even those NUT members who feel reasonably comfortable will be forced to consider how they will feel in 2011 after three consecutive years of below-inflation pay.”

The NUT voted at its annual conference to ballot for a national strike in the event of a below-inflation pay offer. This would be the first national strike by teachers in 20 years.

Ian Murch, national treasurer of the NUT and NUT branch secretary in Bradford, told Socialist Worker, “The government is delaying announcing the pay deal for tactical reasons – it’s likely that the STRB report recommends a higher pay deal than Brown is prepared to offer. This is not just an issue for teachers, it affects all public sector workers.

“In Bradford we are writing to all our members and sending out campaign materials for the pay campaign.

“We will need to increase contacts with other unions and hold more campaigning meetings to give confidence to our members to fight for decent pay.”

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Tue 8 Jan 2008, 19:08 GMT
Issue No. 2083
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