politics

Teachers more than £4,000 worse off after decade of Tory cuts, analysis shows


Teachers are more than £4,000 worse off after a decade of Tory cuts to public sector pay, new analysis shows.

Since 2010, teachers and school leaders, alongside other public sector workers, have seen their pay capped or frozen altogether.

Analysis of House of Commons Library data by Labour found the average salaries of classroom teachers were £4,478 lower in 2019 compared to 2010 if pay had risen in line with inflation.

Head teachers lost out by an average of £2,500 a year over the same period.

Some 94% of teachers are also facing a real terms pay cut after Rishi Sunak opted to freeze public sector pay for those earning more than £24,000.




The Chancellor said in November’s Spending Review that public sector workers earning below the median salary were guaranteed a pay increase of least £250, along with a raise for NHS staff.

But millions of public sector workers will see their pay frozen, including 478,135 of the 508,433 teachers in England who are paid more than £25,000.

It comes after a Tory manifesto pledge to boost starting salaries for teachers to £30,000 by 2022 was dropped.

The Treasury said the promise would be delivered within this Parliament – meaning it could be delayed until 2024.

Shadow Schools Minister Wes Streeting raised concerns about growing vacancy rates in teaching, with empty posts rising from 2011 to 2019 to 0.3%.

Mr Streeting said: “A decade of failed Tory policies has slashed the wages of hard-working teachers, making it harder for them to stay in the profession.

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“The Chancellor’s latest real terms pay cut will hammer consumer confidence and drive the very people who have been essential to keeping schools open out of their jobs.

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“It is completely wrong for Rishi Sunak to continue to punish the public sector workers who have done so much to keep children learning throughout the pandemic.”

A recent report by the Resolution Foundation said teachers and other public sector workers affected by the pay freeze already face a pay penalty compared to their private sector counterparts.

The thinktank said staff already face a 7.9 per cent pay penalty compared to private sector workers in similar roles.

In contrast, public sector workers exempt from the freeze – such as NHS workers and those earning less than £24,000 – already enjoy a 6.7 per cent pay premium over their private sector peers.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Last year we announced the biggest pay rise the teaching profession has seen since 2005, with above-inflation rises to the pay ranges for every single teacher in the country. We are also committed to introducing a £30,000 starting salary.

“Teaching remains an attractive and rewarding career with the opportunity to inspire and shape the lives of millions of pupils. Our reforms to teacher training, early career support, ongoing professional development and teachers’ pay are key to the Government’s plans to raise school standards.”





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