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Cumbria 'would lose out on good teachers' if regional pay goes ahead - claim

Cumbria could miss out on good quality teachers because of Government plans to introduce regional pay for public sector workers, a local senior union leader warned today.

Alan Rutter photo
Alan Rutter

Alan Rutter, secretary of the Cumbria branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), was speaking out after the union’s four-day annual conference over the Easter weekend.

Delegates warned that a move towards regional pay rates was an attack on teachers and part of a Government strategy to drive down pay and conditions and break up the school system.

The warning came as the NUT passed a resolution declaring its “complete opposition to the Government’s intention to attack the national pay and conditions arrangements for school teachers”.

It instructed the union’s executive to take “all appropriate action”, including being prepared to ballot for national strikes, if Education Secretary Michael Gove puts forward specific proposals attacking teachers’ national pay and conditions.

Mr Rutter, who is also vice-chairman of one of the union’s national committees, said: “It has been a busy conference. We passed a motion to resist changes to our pensions and there was also big moves against moves to introduce local pay.

“If you introduce local pay there could be some areas, and Cumbria could be one of them, which are adversely affected.

“Take Cumbria – you see that it appears to be a relatively affluent area when it comes to living but if you look at the pay rates of people in the leisure industry, which is a large part of our economy, they are on pretty poor wages. You get a false picture and as a result we think there will be some areas where it will be very difficult to attract good teaching staff because they will effectively follow the money where it is offered.”

He added that the flavour of the conference was that teachers felt under attack.

The NUT executive will meet in the coming weeks to discuss what happens next following the weekend’s debates and resolutions.

Fellow NUT member Mike Cunningham, former head of Flimby School in west Cumbria, delivered a speech at the Torquay conference this weekend.

Another teaching union, the NASUWT, also held its annual conference over the Easter weekend. Speaking on BBC Radio Cumbria earlier today, Cumbrian NASUWT leader David Cornwall said the union opposed Government plans to break up local school networks.

He said: “Local authorities are responsive to local school needs and responsive to the needs of their local communities.

“They understand their communities far better than the Secretary of State and his team in London.”

Have your say

Thanks BM2, dont worry, BM1 and I are inviting you to our civil ceremony.

And the use of being in the context of BM1 is not entirely incorrect. If the assertion was not just in past tense but to describe a current or future situation being is the correct usage.

Was BM1 saying that only teachers in the past have been inadequate, or that teachers are currently inadequate and have been for some time? If the latter then the correct usage is being.

Posted by Jim on 12 April 2012 at 10:30

Given the number of schools in Cumbria that are just 'satisfactory' doesn't that show the standard of teachers we already have?
On the subject of striking about this and that, teachers get a VERY decent salary, they get 52 weekends a year at home and 13 weeks 25% of a year Holidays. They get the second best pension in the public sector (according to the DOE website)couple this with job security that has no equal in the modern world and any sympathy you have for them is gone! I say Sack the ones that go on strike and give their jobs to teachers who appreciate their lot!

Posted by Craig on 12 April 2012 at 10:24

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