I pay tribute to all of the teachers and education staff who do the vitally important job of educating the nation. It cannot be overstated how important education is to us as individuals and to society at large.
Teaching can be a difficult job, especially since the pandemic started and an extra layer of complexity was added to teachers’ workloads. The least that the country can do to thank them is to pay them fairly.
However, last year, teachers and education staff faced a pay freeze, which, with inflation taken into account, actually constitutes a real-terms cut to their pay. This followed a decade of pay freezes and below inflation rises, which have left teachers and education staff underpaid and, in real terms, worse off than they were in 2010.
The Chancellor announced in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review that the current pay freeze would end in April 2022. However, he did not provide a figure for next year’s pay rise, and Paul Scully, the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, did not rule out the pay rise being below inflation.
If next April’s pay rise is below inflation then, once again, this will be a real terms pay cut for some of the most important workers in our society. My Opposition Colleagues and I do not believe that this is acceptable, and I can assure you that we will continue to push the Government to properly pay teachers and education staff.