Our fight for education and for the rights of teachers begins right here, right now.

Foreword to NASUWT 2023 Campaign Plan by the General Secretary

As the old adage goes: ‘No one forgets a good teacher’. They just forget to pay them well and not only that, they forget to treat them well, too.

In spite of the public praise from Ministers at its peak during the pandemic, teaching today ranks in the relegation zone when it comes to graduate pay. How can any government claim to value teachers when they have presided over a system that has seen teachers’ pay fall by more than 25% in real terms in the last decade and when there is mounting evidence of teachers being broken by excessive working hours and by the unsustainable demands placed on them?

Teachers in the UK work the longest hours in Europe. Too many employers pay lip-service to teachers’ contractual rights and are deploying the most hostile of employment practices, with the use of fire and rehire. Governments and administrations have a duty to stop these abusive practices.

Our fight for education and for the rights of teachers begins right here, right now. It starts with the priorities set by our members at our Annual Conference on workload, pay, the wellbeing of teachers and pupils, on equalities and the fight against racism and misogyny.

We will take forward this Campaign Plan with governments and administrations, and also into our workplaces, to secure a Better Deal for Teachers.

We will never stand by whilst employers play fast and loose with our members’ terms and conditions of service or fail to uphold the standards we expect, or think it’s OK to threaten teachers with the sack in order to drive down their pensions, pay and working conditions.

We applaud our members across the country who have already taken a stand, fought back and won, demonstrating the power of being part of the Union, successfully defending pensions, pay and working conditions and winning the right to be consulted fully on future changes affecting their employment.

And whilst we will always challenge bad employment practices, we will also work to promote good employment practices and demand better from all governments and administrations: fair pay, respect for rights at work, and positive action to tackle the impact of the cost of living crisis and to restore the value of teachers’ pay.

That is what it means to be the NASUWT.

Join with us and join in and help us deliver our agenda for change and for a Better Deal for All Teachers.

Dr Patrick Roach


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