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NEU slams “unfair” teachers’ pay freeze

The National Education Union (NEU) has branded the government’s decision to freeze school teachers’ pay as “unfair”, calling on supporters to write to MPs to demand a raise.

The report from the School Teachers’ Review Body, published earlier this week, recommends an increase only for those earning less than £24,000 per year (or part-time equivalent). Educators included will receive just £250 more from September 1st.

This leaves the vast majority of educators in schools without a pay rise. Inflation was recorded at 2.4% in June 2021, and is predicted to reach 4% later in the year, meaning that teachers will face a hefty real-terms pay cut in 2022.

While failing to counteract the limited remit given to them by the government, the Review Body’s reports contained warning signs for the future of the profession. With year-on-year leaving rates of 9.2%, and as much as 27% among early career teachers, the Review Body warned that as private sector wages pick up more teachers may choose to leave the profession. This would risk repeating the post-2008 teacher recruitment crisis, the report’s authors said.

Calling the decision “disgraceful”, the NEU accused the government of failing to heed their members’ views in their 2021 pay survey, which called for an inflation-busting pay adjustment.

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