Most teachers oppose the pay freeze set by the Government for school staff, according to a survey by the Nasuwt teaching union, which found that one in 10 have taken on a second job and some have resorted to food banks.
The vast majority of 11,000 respondents to a survey, 98%, said they disagreed with a pay freeze implemented by the Government for teachers and other public sector workers for 2021/22.
n November 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak imposed a one-year pay freeze on more than one million public sector workers in response to the ‘economic emergency’ created by the pandemic.
The decision was made to help plug the hole in the public finances opened up by the pandemic, and offset the impact of job saving measures like the furlough scheme.
In March this year, the Government called for teacher starting salaries to rise by over 16% over the next two years, to bring them up to £30,000 by September 2023.
The Department for Education has said it wants statutory starting pay to increase by 8.9% this year and 7.1% next year.
But the proposed increases for more experienced staff are lower, and the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that given rising levels of inflation, the proposals for teacher pay would see a real-terms cut of 5% for more experienced staff between 2021 and 2023.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (pictured) announced that teachers’ starting salaries would hit £30,000 by September 2023, after pausing public sector wage increases for a year in 2020, but many teacher still feel their wages are too low
Naswut’s new general secretary Patrick Roach said the government need to increase wages ‘urgently’ to ‘secure the future of education’, as their research finds nearly all teachers disagree with Rishi Sunak’s previous pay freeze
Out of over 10,700 respondents, 62% said they would support a joint day of strike action with other education unions in support of pay increases.
Around four in 10 members, 42%, said they would support more than one day of joint strike action over the issue.
A quarter of respondents, 25%, would support over one day of strike action with Nasuwt acting alone.
Just 15% said they would not be prepared to take any form of industrial action to campaign for more pay.
Most teachers, 80%, said Nasuwt should focus on campaigning for all teachers to get the same percentage pay rise, regardless of their experience, whereas just 28% said that the union should prioritise campaigning for teachers’ starting salaries to rise to £30,000.