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School leaders’ union to ballot members over ‘inadequate’ pay offer from government

Following the meeting of NAHT’s National Executive Committee yesterday evening, the union has today written to all members setting out the offer that all the education unions received from the government.

NAHT will be asking its members whether to accept or reject the offer. It will also ask if they would be prepared to vote in favour of industrial action if the offer is rejected.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “Having consulted with our national executive committee members, we do not believe that this offer addresses the pay erosion the teaching profession has seen for more than a decade. Nor does it address the crushing weight of unreasonable accountability or workload. As such, the offer fails to address the recruitment and retention crisis that is damaging the quality of the education for children and young people.”

Further more, NAHT’s national executive committee does not believe that sufficient funding is being made available to meet even this inadequate offer. The government is proposing to fund the non-consolidated £1,000 payment for 2022/23, but only 0.5% of the overall 4.5% pay award for 2023/24, leaving schools to find the remaining 4% from existing budgets.

Mr Whiteman continued: “Creating a situation where school leaders must make cuts to afford a pay deal that the government says is designed to make teaching a more attractive profession would be perverse. We will be asking members to confirm or correct our early analysis that this pay offer cannot be afforded from existing school budgets.

“This offer takes us to a crossroads. NAHT is putting this offer to its members to consider because despite the obvious crisis in education, as well as all the campaigning on this issue, the offer is apparently the limit of the government’s ambition. It is the best that the government is prepared to make. If members reject the offer, it is clear that industrial action by NAHT members will be necessary.”

First published 28 March 2023