Wednesday 16 May 2012

Zonal Pay, Performance Pay: an excuse to CUT Pay

The latest attack on teachers from this Millionaires' Government came with the release of Michael Gove’s proposals for changes to the national pay arrangements for teachers.

Blatantly fiddling with the actual evidence, this report threatens every teacher with performance pay that might take away any automatic right of progression up the pay scale - even for those on the main scale. 

It also threatens a complete break-up of national pay arrangements, so as to be able to axe education spending, atomise pay arrangements, and cut teacher salaries.

The link between performance pay and the new Appraisal Regulations and Teachers’ Standards are spelt out, with Gove saying that they "will provide a better framework for schools to make decisions about rewarding teacher performance".

Just to show how farcical the proposals are, a table (5D) in the 'evidence' lists teachers in my borough of Lewisham as being 'overpaid' - as the ratio of 'teacher to professional pay' is 1.17 - whereas, if we take a short train ride to work in Tower Hamlets, we would then be 'underpaid' with the respective ratio being 0.73! Of course, this just means that there are few big employers in Lewisham but some well-paid bankers in Canary Wharf.

There's no logic to this system - but then Gove and the Con-Dems don't rely on logic - they just want an excuse to slash spending and attack trade unionists' pay and conditions. 

We need to urgently prepare action to oppose these threats - on top of the attacks already being made to our pensions.

The documents can be found on:

The National NUT Press Release is appended below:

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

“Michael Gove’s latest proposals on pay fly in the face of evidence. Yesterday's OECD report showed that performance pay in schools does not raise standards.  Last week's Sutton Trust survey showed exactly the opposite of what both the Sutton Trust and the Education Secretary claim.

“What the survey actually showed was the majority of teachers support the current pay arrangements whereby teachers on the main pay scale get a pay increase unless their performance is deemed unsatisfactory. If this is the standard of evidence that Michael Gove is basing his arguments on then it is woeful to say the least. 

“National pay scales for teachers give a transparency and ensure much greater fairness and non-discrimination than pay levels determined at school level, and should remain.  

“Education is a nationally-delivered service so local pay for a teacher is completely inappropriate.  It would reduce teacher mobility, create shortages in areas of lower pay, hit recruitment and retention, and create needless extra expense and bureaucracy for schools.  The most disadvantaged parts of the country would be hit by a double whammy of Government cuts and lower pay. 

“Teachers are already suffering from pay freezes, job losses and increases in pension contributions – they now face pay cuts due to a policy based on ideology not evidence. Like so many of Michael Gove's ideas, these proposals will demotivate teachers, damage team working in schools and worsen recruitment and retention problems – the very opposite of what is needed”. 

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