Community members accept teachers’ pay offer

Community Union members have voted to accept the UK Government’s offer of a 6.5% pay increase for teachers – but the union has warned ministers that more needs to be done on retention of experienced teachers to prevent ‘an exodus of teachers from classrooms’.

Over 90% of the union’s members in its Education & Early Years sector – which represents teachers, headteachers, education, school support staff and early years staff – indicated their support for the offer, compared to under 10% who voted against.

Community members have been campaigning for improved wages for teachers, and senior union officials gave evidence to the Schools Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) – the independent body tasked with making recommendations on pay in the sector – on salaries, the issue of retention in the profession, and increased planning and preparation time for teachers.

Responding to the union’s ballot on the pay offer, Community’s National Officer for Education Helen Osgood said:

“This offer is good news and goes some way to resolving the issues many teachers face around pay. Our members can be proud of the campaigning they did to highlight the plight of poor pay within the profession.”

“However, major issues still remain centred around workload and retention of teachers within the profession. The Government needs to do further work and take further action on workload issues to prevent an exodus of experienced teachers from classrooms. We look forward to working with the Government to develop an action plan to address these issues.”

Community Union has warned of a crisis of recruitment and retention in schools in England – highlighting that 40,000 teachers quit the profession last year alone. A survey of the union’s members in the education sector conducted earlier this summer showed that there were teacher vacancies in 63% of respondents’ schools. The union has highlighted that support staff are often being pressed into covering vacant posts, and are expected to deliver lessons without the pay, support and training that goes with the role.

You can read Community Union’s evidence to the STRB here.

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