Labour Research May 2002


Teacher unions slam performance pay deal

The threat of industrial action by head teachers in England and Wales over funding of teachers' performance pay ended last month, but the row simmered on with the main teacher unions sharply critical of the settlement. Last month saw a new deal on the funding available to pay for teachers' progression above the performance threshold (see Labour Research April 2002).

The two head teachers' unions, NAHT and SHA, said it would enable governing bodies to reward "a very high proportion of teachers on the upper pay spine" and give performance increases to "school leaders" (heads, deputies and assistants).

But the largest teacher union, the NUT, condemned it as a "shady deal", saying little or no new money had been allocated and that new criteria for pay progression would have no legal force. And the second largest, the NASUWT, warned that the reallocation of money "may be little more than a sleight of hand". All seemed to agree, however, that the shift in policy had only come about because of the threat of industrial action.