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Commenting on the first ever report of the Wales Review Body on teachers’ pay, Ms Chris Keates, General Secretary (Acting) of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:

“It is disappointing that the publication of the first report is being made when schools have closed for the end of term meaning that the vast majority of the consultation period will be taking place when teachers and headteachers are on their summer break. 

“The Review Body was faced with a major task of addressing the significant teachers’ pay gap in Wales and it was clear that this gap could not be closed by a single one-off award.

“Whilst recognising that the Review Body was keen to attract graduates into teaching by recommending a 5% increase to the minimum of the main pay range, the retention of teachers is equally important and it is the award and salaries above the minimum which also need to be considered in that context.

“The NASUWT welcomes the fact that in its recommendations the Review Body has been clear that all teachers should receive the overall award it has recommended, ending the confusion and uncertainty of the previous unacceptable practice where it was left to employers’ discretion whether teachers on points other than the maxima and minima received an annual award.

“Whilst noting that the Review Body recommended 2.4% overall and the Minister has increased this to 2.75%, neither percentage will make any significant headway into closing the teachers’ pay gap. 

“The NASUWT has argued consistently that what is needed is a planned, multi-year approach to enable teachers to receive salaries that recognise and reward them as highly skilled professionals, thus recruiting and retaining teachers.

“The Minister has decided slightly to increase the recommended pay award to match the anticipated award for teachers in England thereby honouring the Welsh Government’s commitment to no detriment.

“Although this is welcome the NASUWT is deeply concerned that this should not set a precedent for how the Minister responds to other recommendations in this and subsequent reports. 

“Honouring review body recommendations in full is an important principle to which ministers should adhere.

“It would be extremely worrying if Ministers believe they can simply over-rule recommendations which have emerged from a detailed evidence based process and  second guessing the Review Body becomes a habit, as the work of the Review Body will be undermined and confidence lost in the process.

“The NASUWT will be responding in detail to the consultation once there has been the opportunity to consider fully the Report and the Minister’s response.”

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