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Teaching unions' anger at pay rise.

Byline: Moira Sharkey Education Reporter

TEACHERS are to get a 2.9 per cent pay rise in line with inflation, it was announced today.

But union leaders in Wales have reacted angrily to the deal which they say will do nothing to stop the current flow of teachers leaving the profession.

The 2.9 per cent increase in teachers' basic pay was recommended by the School Teachers' Review Body, (STRB) which was under pressure from ministers to come up with a proposal that reflected the Government's determination to keep a lid on public sector pay increases.

Some teachers - notably headteachers and deputies - will do much better than others. But union leaders reacted angrily, saying the rise would do nothing to ease teacher shortages.

Increments for experienced teachers in England and Wales will increase by two thirds to pounds 1,670 from pounds 1,000 from April.

Headteachers and deputies will get a rise worth up to 10 per cent overall, or an average of pounds 4,000.

The Department for Education and Skills insisted the deal was a good one.

Rhys Williams, of NUT Cymru, said: ``I think teachers are going to be angry and disappointed by this so-called pay rise. It cannot be considered a rise as it is only in line with inflation.

``We are no longer allowed to negotiate with the STRB and it seems that they are doing the Government's bidding.''

Karl Davies, director of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Cymru, said: ``The Government is taking a gamble with this pay rise. I don't believe it will be adequate to stem the flow of teachers leaving the profession.

``It seems unlikely that a rise in line with inflation of just 2.9 per cent will be a sufficient incentive for teachers set on leaving the profession to stay.''
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 7, 2003
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