Responding to the news that the Chancellor is considering a freeze of public sector pay in next week's Comprehensive Spending Review, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“The news that the government intends to freeze the pay of teachers and other public sector workers will be seen as a huge kick in the teeth for millions of school staff.
“Undoubtedly the costs of Covid have been significant, but the government is looking for the wrong solution to the problem of balancing the national budget.
“The teaching profession has already endured a decade of pay freezes, in contrast to pay growth in the private sector. This made teaching an uncompetitive career option for graduates who have looked to other sectors to build their careers. The government’s plans will make a dire situation even worse.
“The civic response to Covid has been characterised by the willingness of public sector workers, school staff included, to go the extra mile. Public sector workers have been critical to the national effort. They have also endured personal losses and tragedies. It is entirely wrong for the government to expect dedicated public servants, some of them often on low rates of pay already, to be the ones to shoulder the responsibility of paying for the costs of Covid incurred by the Treasury.
“Another slap in the face on pay, after years of pay freezes and an unbelievably challenging 2020 is an insult that many school staff will be absolutely stunned by.”
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First published 20 November 2020