Last month NSEAD wrote to the Secretary of State Kit Malthouse on behalf of our members working in schools in England to respond to the proposed pay award for teachers.
We set out our concerns about the impact of workload, excessive accountability and real terms pay cut on our members. We have written today to ask again: What action will be taken to support teachers and the children and young people that we all serve?
We advised the Minister of our intention to open a consultative ballot of our members, to be conducted by an independent scrutineer. NSEAD members responding to the online consultative ballot have firmly rejected the 5% unfunded pay award offered by the Secretary of State, with 94% saying that NSEAD should reject the pay proposal for teaching staff in English schools. Internal consultations with members in Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland indicated a similar level of dissatisfaction with the pay awards proposed by the devolved administrations.
NSEAD members are sending a strong message that a change in direction is needed, but the overwhelming majority have not indicated that they wish to take industrial action – just 17% of our members said they would be prepared to take strike action, with 18% in favour of action short of strike. This is a clear direction from the membership. We will be working over the coming weeks and months to lobby for a fully funded, above inflation pay rise, but we will not be taking the issue to a formal ballot.
General Secretary Michele Gregson said:
‘Whatever their position on strike action, our members know that this is not just about the pay in their pockets – it is about the sustainability of teaching as a profession. It is about equality of opportunity for learners and the quality of their education. The membership is united in a demand for fair pay, sustainable workload and school funding that supports a broad and balanced curriculum offer. Unless we reward and retain our specialist workforce in our schools, our young people will be the real losers.’