Teachers should get public sector pay rise – but only if they turned up to school during Covid crisis, say angry parents

Teachers should get public sector pay rise – but only if they turned up to school during Covid crisis, say angry parents

July 21, 2020

ANGRY parents have said teachers should only get public sector pay rises if they turned up to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

Boris Johnson handed pay rises to more than 900,000 public sector workers across seven different workforces today – including police, soldiers, teachers and prison guards.

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School teachers and doctors were awarded the biggest pay bump in recognition of their efforts on the frontline battle against coronavirus.

Teachers will get the highest rise of 3.1 per cent – meaning a school worker on £30,599 will receive nearly an extra £1,000 a year.

It has prompted an angry response from some parents, with one writing on Twitter: "Don't agree about the teachers!

"I've had to home-school my children for four months while I continue to work! They get so much time off and now a pay rise. Unbelievable!!"

Teachers across the UK have continued to teach kids online during lockdown and many have continued to look after key workers' kids at school.

But some are hesitant to return to schools, with Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), branding the government's plan for schools to reopen in September "pure fantasy". 

The Campaign for Real Education blasted hesitant teachers and unions, saying education staff who refuse to return to the classroom "didn't deserve a pay rise".

The think tank's chairman, Chris McGovern, told MailOnline: "The government should have held back and rewarded teachers who have turned up to the classroom and worked hard.

"Rewarding teachers who acted in their own interest sets a bad precedent for the future."

'MASSIVE CATCH UP'

Boris Johnson promised parents last month there will be a "massive catch-up operation" to try to minimise the impact of the lockdown on children's education.

Many have voiced growing evidence that some kids in the ‘Covid Generation’ are falling behind in their studies may not be able to bounce back.

Ministers reasoned that there is no prospect of children making up for lost schooling over the summer, and instead proposed a catch-up programme to be extended into next term, and possibly beyond.

A study by UCL's Institute of Education this week found that 2 million children have done less than an hour a day of schoolwork during lockdown.

And nationally, kids are spending on average just 2.5 hours a day working.

Today's inflation-busting pay rises will take the average salary for a full-time public sector worker to £31,844 – £2,000 more than their private sector counterparts.

Doctors and dentists will get a 2.8 per cent uplift and police officers will see their pay boosted by 2.5 per cent.

A constable earning £32,025 will take home £800 more a year.

The Armed Forces get a 2 per cent rise under the new pay deal, prison officers will receive a 2.5 per cent rise.

Judges and senior civil servants will see a 2 per cent increase.

It is the third above-inflation pay rise for the majority of public sector workers following seven years of austerity that saw salary increases capped at 1 per cent.

More than a million NHS workers have already been given a pay rise of about 3 per cent this year under their three-year Agenda for Change pay deal that ends next April.

Nurses will get an average 4.4 per cent pay rise this year under that deal.

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, more than 300 NHS workers have died in England while caring for patients.

Which workers are getting a pay rise?

The following public sector workers will see their salary boosted following the new announcement:

  • School teachers – 3.1 per cent
  • Doctors and dentists – 2.8 per cent
  • Police officers – 2.5 per cent
  • National Crime Agency – 2.5 per cent
  • Prison officers – 2.5 per cent
  • Armed forces – 2 per cent
  • Judiciary – 2 per cent
  • Senior civil servants – 2 per cent
  • Senior military – 2 per cent

The pay awards for the armed forces, prison officers, senior civil servants and NHS staff will be backdated to April.

The rise for police and teachers starts in September because these professions run on different pay schedules.

Why has the government announced these pay rises?

The announcement came after Chancellor Rishi Sunak accepted the recommendations of all the independent pay review bodies.

Each year, independent pay review bodies recommend pay rises for sectors.

Mr Sunak said the boost to wages reflects the enormous effort made by those in the public sector in responding to the unprecedented challenges for the country during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Treasury said the money will come from existing departmental budgets.

Announcing the pay rises last night, Mr Sunak said: “These past months have underlined what we always knew – that our public sector workers make a vital contribution to our country and that we can rely on them when we need them.

“It’s right therefore that we follow the recommendations of the independent pay bodies with this set of real-terms pay rises.”

However, the government was criticised by national trade union TUC for not making up a "decade of real-terms pay cuts" for frontline workers.

The Conservatives previously enforced a 1 per cent pay rise cap on public sector workers, but this was scrapped after seven years by then-party leader Theresa May in 2017.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady also called for social care workers to join the ranks of those being offered a pay rise.

She said: "These rises are welcome, but there's still a long way to go to restore pay after a decade of real terms cuts.

"Many public sector workers, like job centre staff and local government workers, aren't getting these rises. They deserve a decent pay settlement too.

"And the Government should urgently announce a pay rise for social care workers, who put their lives on the line to care for others during this pandemic."

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