Members of the National Union of Teachers have voted in favour of strike action on 24 April over cuts in teachers’ pay.
Last year, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that pay rises for teachers would be kept in line with inflation. Under Brown’s offer, most teachers will receive a 2.45% pay rise from September 2008 and increases of 2.3% per in 2009 and 2010.
Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the NUT, said: “The government is wrong to determine a pay increase for teachers below the rate of inflation. The rate of inflation is presently 4.1% and teachers will receive for 2008 2.4%. The consequences of real term pay cuts are familiar to us. They were a feature of the ‘boom and bust’ years before 1997. In that period schools suffered from recruitment and retention problems – there were teacher shortages and morale was low.
“Young teachers need to be treated fairly. Paying them at levels which are not competitive with those of other graduate professions will damage recruitment. The government needs to think again.”