The National Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday rejected a proposed three-year pay deal for teachers as a pay cut and warned there will be a ‘robust response’.
NUT General Secretary Steve Sinnott said: ‘Teachers will be worse off.
‘This pay settlement of 2.45 per cent for 2008 is well below the rate of inflation of four per cent, which was also announced today.
‘This will reduce the standard of living for teachers and exacerbate the problems of recruitment and retention.
‘Teachers have to pay increases in the cost of housing, fuel and food.
‘This settlement is in effect a pay cut.’
Sinnott warned: ‘The NUT Executive will be meeting next week and I have no doubt they will want a robust response.’
The NUT has already voted to prepare for a one-day strike in the event of a below-inflation pay increase.
Fellow teachers union NASUWT gave the pay announcement a cautious welcome.
Children, Schools and Families Secretary, Ed Balls said that he accepts the three-year pay recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) for a 2.45 per cent pay rise for teachers from September 2008, with additional increases for some London teachers, and increases of 2.3 per cent per year from 2009 and 2010.
A DCSF statement said: ‘The principal recommendations the Secretary of State proposes to implement are:
• a 2.45 per cent pay rise for teachers from September 2008;
• a minimum starting salary of £25,000 for teachers in inner London and £24,000 for teachers in outer London from September 2008;
• increases in the value of the upper pay scale of 3.45 per cent in inner London and of up to 3.98 per cent in outer London from September 2008;
• increases of 2.45 per cent in the value of special educational needs allowances and teaching and learning responsibility payments.’
Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday: ‘CPI annual inflation, the government’s target measure, was 2.1 per cent in December, unchanged from November.’
It said that RPI inflation, which included mortgage and rent increases, ‘fell to 4.0 per cent in December, down from 4.3 per cent in November’ largely due to a smaller increase in average mortgage interest payments, compared with last December.
However, the ONS also revealed a record 7.4 per cent increase in wholesale food prices in the past 12 months, driving up the average cost of groceries to the consumer by 12 per cent.
Industry surveys confirmed food prices are rocketing. Website mySupermarket.co.uk, said Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s increased their average price for a basket of goods by 12 per cent last year.
Yesterday, EDF Energy announced a 7.9 per cent hike in electricity prices and a 12.9 per cent hike in gas prices.