Analysis Breaking News

Fury among teachers as union asks them to ‘consider’ insulting below-inflation pay offer

Yet more signs of TUC/Labour pressure as NASUWT puts pathetic government pay offer to teachers

Striking teachers (image: National Education Union)

Teachers have reacted with fury after their unions asked them to ‘consider’ an appallingly insulting pay offer from the government. The proposed ‘deal’ consists of a one-off, unfunded payment of £1000 for the current year and a derisory, far below inflation 4.5% for 23/24 – of which only 0.5% will be funded by government with schools expected to find the rest from already-inadequate budgets.

The National Education Union (NEU) has just finished a zoom call with members at which it presented details and analysis of the offer and recommended rejection. The NASUWT union’s general secretary, however, has tweeted a video telling members that the offer deserves ‘consideration’. The video met with utter scorn from teachers:

One NEU member told Skwawkbox that the NEU has recommended rejection:

I’ll be rejecting it, it’s shocking. The OFSTED stuff is interesting but the pay offer is a disgrace.

Another wanted to know why the NEU was even bothering to put the offer to members when it is so little improved compared to what was available before the strike and still represents a massive real-terms pay cut for hard-working teachers:

Why the hell are we even being asked to think about this? It’s pathetic and should be rejected out of hand. We need to continue the strike and not let the government jerk us around like this and deceive the public. If the NASUWT accept it they’ll be playing right into the government’s hands when we need a united front saying enough is enough.

Labour and the TUC, meanwhile, have been accused of pressuring leaders of various unions into watering down demands and action and even recommending similarly appalling offers, to protect Keir Starmer. Neither the party nor the TUC has denied the allegations.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The NUE and NASUWT on top of striking should be consider working to rule every single day of the week..
    Teachers are paid for between 36-40 hours week. They should not do a minute of unpaid overtime. No running after school clubs as part of their duties.
    Working to rule will hurt the government more than strikes in the mid-long term and it could be sustained as pay wouldn’t be docket from teachers.

    1. Unfortunately, the contract of employment doesn’t specify those hours.
      It specifies an annual number of “directed hours”. I think that it is 1265 hours.
      This represents the number of hours that a headteacher can direct a teacher to be teaching, attending meetings, preparing work on the school premises, attending courses etc.
      There is an additional requirement though. It is that teachers are required to do whatever additional hours are necessary to “discharge their duties” – This would cover marking, preparation etc., so in fact it’s open ended. Additionally, teachers in senior positions are not covered by this and are just required to be available to be directed to work as and when directed to do so. I believe that there are a small number of days during the year (Christmas Day, Easter Monday, etc. and weekends) when they can not be directed to work.
      “Working to rule” is hard when these are the rules.

      1. Thanks for the reply goldbach, I didn’t know about the “directed hours”. I have done the maths and 1265 hours divided by 39 weeks is the equivalent to 32.30 hours per week or 6.30 hours per day. Hence, enough to cover from 8.15am to 3.45pm with an 30 minutes break for lunch.
        Hence, teachers could decided that the maximum hours per week they are going to work is the 32.30 directed hours per week and the rest since they aren’t directed, they wouldn’t work it until their demands are sorted.
        What Academies’s Governors are going to be able to do about it? Sack everyone? I seriously doubt it.
        Working parents would be happy that their children can go to school and teachers will carry on teaching and preparing lessons. Homework wouldn’t be given to pupils since it cannot be realistically market? I don’t see the children complaining, don’t you?
        However, the higher ups would be seething because all the admin that teachers have to do, would not be done. Suddenly schools would not be able to prepare for OFTESD’s inspections and the government would be most unhappy, that on paper schools all over the place would be “failing”.
        Such action could be maintained for months without a risk of a cut in the teachers’s salaries.

      2. Not quite, Maria.
        There is still the requirement to do whatever is necessary to “discharge their duties” – there is no time during the 6h 30m to do much preparation, if any. As time went on, with lessons being inadequately prepared, or not at all, there would be the usual “monitoring” with the requirements for extra work that this would entail. It would be a long war of attrition where they could slowly be picked off one by one.
        I think that a better strategy would be to go for an all out strike in a limited number of constituencies (those of the PM, Education Secretary etc.) with strike pay funded by a levy on the teachers in the rest of the country.
        It’s still a problem though, since teachers are not all in the same union, and some are not in a union at all.

  2. Is there any way in which I, as a retired teacer, can now withdraw my (ex) labour?
    An ex-NUT member.

  3. The BMA (a great trade union) could teach the NEU a thing or two. BMA are NOT demanding a 35% pay increase as a pre-condition to meeting Health Secretary Barclay to resolve junior doctors’ dispute.

    “The ask of 35% pay restoration is our starting position, and we are willing to meet with the Health Secretary anywhere, anytime, to negotiate what this might look like.”

    They sure as xuck will not end up with a 4.5% opening offer The Dead-Hand of Starmer’s Labour kills everything that trusts it. The BMA is NOT affiliated to Labour or the TUC.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: