POLITICS: Teachers' Leaders Demand Extra 10 per Cent

Article excerpt

Britain's biggest teachers' union this morning demanded an inflation-busting 10 per cent pay rise for members.

The National Union of Teachers said the increase was necessary because young staff in much of the country cannot afford housing on their current salaries.

Teachers need either a 10 per cent rise for 2008 or a pounds 3,000 rise in their pay, whichever is the greater, the union said.

The demands followed warnings from the NUT's annual conference last month that teachers are prepared to strike in protest at Gordon Brown's plans to limit their pay rises to two per cent next year.

The union raised the prospect of joint industrial action across schools, hospitals and other public services over the Chancellor's proposed pay cap.

NUT general secretary Steve Sinnott said: "For more than 30 years, teaching has faced boom and bust. Each time salaries are brought more closely into line with that of comparable occupations, it is not very long until decline sets in yet again.

"This is an illustration of the failure of successive governments to recognise the importance of the teaching profession. It must stop. Much depends on ensuring we have a profession of the highest quality, both motivated and committed to doing the best for our children. …