Having laughably 'consulted' on his performance-pay (PRP) plans over the Christmas holidays, Education Secretary Michael Gove today confirmed that he intends to introduce performance related pay for all teachers from September.
PRP helps Ministers cut budgets but does 'close to zero' to help educationThe NUT's official press release correctly sums up why this attack has to be defeated:
“Teachers will be dismayed that Michael Gove is pressing ahead with his plans to dismantle the national teacher pay structure. It will certainly worsen teacher morale which, as shown in a recent YouGov survey commissioned by the NUT, is already low. ( http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/17250 )
“Some 25,000 schools deciding their own pay structures is a real distraction from the teaching and learning that should be the focus of schools’ work. Individual pay decisions will result in unfairness and less mobility in the teacher job market.
“PRP is fundamentally inappropriate for teaching, where educational outcomes are based on teamwork and the cumulative contribution of a number of teachers. The national pay structure provides a coherent framework for career progression and is essential to attract graduates into the profession. To get rid of it will certainly have an impact on recruitment and retention.
“At a time of significant funding pressure on schools individual pay decisions will result in many teachers having their pay and career progression unjustifiably blocked. Contrary to DfE claims, there is no evidence that linking pay to performance increases results. The Education Endowment Foundation – part-funded by the DfE itself – argues that the difference is “closer to zero” and it would be a folly to waste money pursuing PRP in order to drive up standards (http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit/performance-pay) ".
For a plan of escalating action, not a one-day protest strikeBut, as the leaflet also circulated by the Local Associations National Action Campaign (LANAC) today ( download via http://www.nutlan.org.uk/?q=node/801 ) explains,
"All teacher Unions agree that the latest proposals on our pay are very bad news for teachers. The question is - how do we stop them?"
"Our choice is whether to embark on a plan of action by NUT members, while working to involve the NASUWT and other unions at every stage, or to admit defeat.There are no other choices and we shouldn't pretend that there are".
"Taking as long as it needs to assemble the perfect coalition of unions and ensure that every member is ready is a luxury we do not have. Preparing new guidelines for school-by-school action is a policy for managing our defeat not a strategy for defending national pay".
"The message that needs to be heard at pay rallies, briefings and meetings across England and Wales is that the NUT must launch industrial action in defence of national pay as soon as possible - and that it must be a plan of escalating action, not a one-day protest strike".
Lobby for the Executive to call the first day of national action on March 13After the setback of the December NUT Executive, when any decision on calling action was put off until the next National Executive in January, pressure has been building for national strike action to at least start on a date later this term.
There is now a serious discussion being had about the NUT calling a first national day of strike action on Wednesday March 13, a day that coincides with a European TUC Day of Action. The NUT Executive will be meeting on Thursday 24 January to make that decision - one way or the other.
After today's announcement by Gove, surely the NUT Executive needs to agree that any further delay would signal to Ministers, and to teachers, that the NUT was simply retreating in the face of these attacks. Instead, we need to vote together to start national action in March, go out to teachers to explain the seriousness of Gove’s attacks, and turn the undoubted anger in schools into determined national strike action.
It would appear that Michael Gove is so thick skinned that such proposed action is the only kind that might have an impact on him.
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