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New pay award for SBLs and school support staff

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​Local government employers have been in negotiations with support staff unions Unison, Unite and GMB over the pay offer for April 2018 and 2019. Like NAHT's own joint pay claim for teachers and school leaders, the unions presented a joint claim for 5% across all roles and an additional increase to take lesser paid roles up to the new national living wage.

Back in December 2017, we advised NAHT members that the employers offered a 2% wage rise in April 2018 for the majority of council and school support staff currently earning more than £19,430, and a further 2% in April 2019. They also proposed to give lower paid staff a higher wage rise – of up to 16% over the two years. The proposals also included a revamp of National Joint Council (NJC) pay scales.

UNISON and GMB have now accepted this offer although Unite voted to reject. However, in line with the constitution of the NJC, Unite has accepted the collective majority decision and the pay award will now be implemented.

The funding crisis facing schools means that all 2018 pay increases will be extremely challenging and only affordable in many schools at the expense of further cuts. While schools have been expecting the move towards the national living wage for their most junior support staff this award will present a significant challenge to school budgets. Whilst it's undeniably the right thing to do, NAHT believes that the increases must be fully funded in school budgets.

NAHT supported the initial proposal for a 5% restorative pay increase across all roles, and this reflects the pay claim we developed with most of the other teaching unions in relation to teachers and school leaders. A proposal that will only offer our school business leader members a 2% increase in both 2018 and 2019 is therefore clearly insufficient. As staff in schools have seen their pay decline year-on-year since 2010, this will fail to ensure that we can attract and keep the best professionals to work in schools and we will continue to campaign for pay levels that allow us to attract and retain staff.

Members will note the plans to further streamline and assimilate posts and pay scale points in 2019, illustrated in the attached pay scales and allowances document. We will be following these future developments in due course and will keep members informed as further information becomes available.

The full details of the of the 2018 and 2019 payscales and allowances can be found below.

First published 01 May 2018