Submissions to the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body
Joint union statement
Summary: Our organisations represent the overwhelming majority of teachers and school leaders in Wales. We have previously joined together to make joint statements to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) in relation to each of its recent reviews of teachers’ pay in England and Wales, and we are pleased to be able to make a joint statement to the Independent Wales Pay Review Body (IWPRB) for Teachers in relation to this, its first review.
Voice Cymru's submission
Summary: For a number of years, Voice has made the case that the ongoing pay restraint has failed to incentivise the right kind of high calibre professionals to enter the profession, stay in it for their whole careers and take on senior roles in leadership and management. At this time of great change in the education system in Wales, it is imperative that teachers are properly valued for the work that they do from early career to senior leader. As we have stated in the Joint Union Statement, we believe that what is needed at this stage is a profession-wide pay increase of 5% fully funded by the Welsh Government.
We understand in the first year of the work of the IWPRB, that there are valid reasons for why this year’s remit focuses on pay. We look forward to working with the IWPRB in future years on improving both the pay and conditions for teachers in Wales.
Voice Cymru's Supplmenentary Evidence
Summary: Voice welcomes this opportunity to provide supplementary evidence to the Independent Welsh Pay Review body. At the same time, we share the concern expressed by the Welsh Local Government Association regarding the unworkable timescale that respondents have been given to read and respond to the written submissions of other stakeholders. It is not possible to do this within eight working days, even if this were the only work requiring the attention of our designated officers. For this reason, we will focus mainly on the response of the Welsh Government.
In our evidence we have called upon the IWPRB to recommend a restorative award of 5% as a starting point to bringing teachers’ pay back to competitive professional levels. It seems clear to us that although the Welsh Government agreed to the removal of all reference to affordability from the remit letter and the constraints that this places on the agenda, it is still in the forefront of their considerations. In the light of recruitment and retention issues now being faced across Wales, the question is whether an award of lower than 5% will achieve the desired outcomes.
The shared views of the teacher unions articulated in the Joint Statement and expounded in more detail in our own submissions point to a clear way forward for teachers pay in Wales. Devolution offers a unique opportunity to address some of the difficulties and, in our view, mistakes of the past few years and put teaching back on the road to being an attractive profession that new graduates and career changers will want to join.