Teachers unions to consider strike over three-year pay deal

The national union of teachers (NUT) has promised a “robust response” to the government’s three-year pay offer of 2.45% as it claims members will be “worse off” as it is below the rate of inflation. There is speculation that the teaching unions will consider strike action.

Under the offer, most teachers will receive a 2.45% pay rise from September 2008 and increases of 2.3% per in 2009 and 2010.

General secretary of the NUT, Steve Sinnott, said: “Teachers will be worse off. This pay settlement is well below the rate of inflation of 4%. This will reduce the standard of living for teachers and exacerbate the problems of recruitment and retention.

He added: “This settlement is in effect a pay cut. The NUT Executive will be meeting next week and I have no doubt they will want a robust response.”

Ed Balls, children, schools and families secretary, said: “I believe this pay award, the first of the government’s three-year forward looking, public sector pay awards, is fair for teachers and affordable for schools. It builds on the record real terms pay increases that teachers have been awarded during the last ten years.”

The award is higher than the 2% rise that many public sector workers are being offered.