Joint Advice on School Teachers’ Pay 2018-19
The Government has published its proposals on school teachers’ pay for 2018-19 following consideration of the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB).
We set out here our organisations’ joint advice on the application of these proposed changes, including the adoption of pay scales and the application of individual pay increases.
In Wales, there are some particular issues on teacher pay that must be considered alongside this advice. Points M2-M5 on the Main Pay Range in Wales were not increased by 2% as recommended in last year’s joint union pay advice. This means that, in Wales this year, an increase of more than 3.5% would be needed to get points M2-M5 to the levels recommended by the joint union advice set out below. The unions are in discussion with the Welsh local authorities on these matters.
Consultation on pay policies
Formal consultation should take place with teachers and their union representatives before pay policies and pay scales for September 2018 are finalised. This should happen at the start of the new academic year, as soon as the pay proposals are formally confirmed, in order to comply with the requirement for meaningful consultation while also ensuring that teacher pay uplifts are not delayed. Notwithstanding this, we believe that it would be helpful for local authorities, school governing bodies and academy employers to announce as soon as possible whether or not they intend to adopt the advice set out here.
Pay scales for 2018-19
Although the STPCD (since 2014) only prescribes pay ranges with minimum and maximum points, it continues to permit the adoption of fixed pay scale points as the basis for pay progression.
The Secretary of State has implemented a 3.5% increase to the minimum and maximum of the Main Pay Range and Unqualified Teachers’ Range, a 2.0% increase to the minimum and maximum of the Upper Pay Range and all allowances, and a 1.5% increase to the minima and maxima of the Leadership Pay Range and head teacher pay ranges. The Secretary of State has also announced grant funding for the cost of increases beyond 1.0% for schools in England. There has been no corresponding announcement of funding for schools in Wales. [Update on Wales.]
We jointly advise that the above percentage uplifts should apply to all teachers and leaders. The pay scale points below are recommended pay scales based on the pay structure in place prior to 1 September 2014 and have been uprated in line with this year’s pay proposals.
Where a school pay policy includes pay scale points other than those set out here, we jointly advise that such scale points should be similarly increased.
Pay increases for 2018-19
We jointly advise that all teachers should receive an individual pay increase corresponding to the increases set out above, excluding any increase arising from progression to a higher pay scale point.
The Government has recognised the recruitment and retention problems that affect the whole school system, and we believe that appropriate pay increases for all teachers are required to address those problems. The 2018 STPCD provides at Section 2 that "schools must determine – in accordance with their own pay policy – how to take account of the uplift to the national framework in making individual pay progression decisions." These provisions require that teachers should meet relevant performance criteria for progression on their pay scale if eligible, but do not preclude pay increases consequential upon the revalorisation of pay scales set out in the school’s pay policy.
Notwithstanding our differing positions on the principle of performance-related pay progression, we agree that a distinction can and should be maintained between pay increases arising from progression on pay scales and pay increases arising from the revalorisation of pay scales for cost of living purposes. This is the only way to ensure that the profession returns to a competitive position in the graduate market place.
The teacher unions remain committed to securing additional funding from the Government to support the full funding of teacher pay increases for schools in England and Wales.
The unions also remain opposed to the Government’s failure to implement the STRB recommendations in full and its differential treatment of the different groups within the profession. This advice on the application of this year’s statutory provisions in no way endorses the position of the Government.