Workplace Report June 2007

Bargaining news

School staff to get national pay system

Last month schools minister Jim Knight announced that work would begin on a national pay and grading structure for professional and support staff in schools in England.

Public services union UNISON welcomed the decision. "Many school workers pay does not in any way reflect the job they do and is determined almost at the whim of the head teacher," said Christina McAnea, national secretary for the education workforce. "Surveys show that they do more unpaid overtime than any other group in local government."

She added: "We need a national framework that will apply in all types of schools - community, foundation, voluntary aided and trusts. The alternative is the nightmare vision of pay and conditions negotiations taking place separately in 23,000 individual schools. "

Brian Strutton, national secretary of the GMB general union, said: "For teaching assistants, school secretaries and all the other non-teacher roles this will bring consistency and fairness to match their growing role and importance in schools."