Voice Official Response: Consultation on the new mechanism (model process) to determine teachers’ pay and conditions of service in Wales
Background: From September 2018 the Welsh Government is responsible for setting teachers’ pay and conditions of service in Wales and is consulting on a model process to determine how we do this.
Summary: Voice supports a statutory national pay framework because it is an important protection for the teaching profession that teachers’ pay and conditions are reviewed annually and are subject to a statutory process. A statutory framework is also transparent and applies to all teachers, wherever they work in Wales. Voice is keen to play an active role in the determination of pay and conditions for our members in Wales and we are in complete agreement with including a Partnership Forum within the model. Social partners will now also be able to have input which provides a further level of influence for Voice and other stakeholders.
We would like reassurance that implementation of the proposed model will ensure that pay levels in Wales do not fall behind pay levels in maintained schools in England, as guaranteed by First Minister Carwyn Jones. It may be necessary to have an additional stage in which the final decision is formally compared to the STRB’s decision in England to ensure that pay levels are comparable.
It is important that any such independent Welsh review body is seen to be both expert and independent.
We do not see the reason for a public consultation or understand what the public can add to the process. It is for a profession and its employers/ professional bodies to determine conditions of service and pay – we do not agree that it is a public matter. This would seem to us to devalue teaching as a profession and may even have the unintended consequence of giving the public ‘ammunition’ against teachers.