'Absolutely shocking' that teachers' pay deal may not be funded with new money, says Tom Swarbrick

8 July 2023, 07:16

Tom Swarbrick on how a pay deal for teachers may be funded

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

Tom Swarbrick gave his reaction as members of the National Educational Union (NEU) walked out for the second time this week, saying it was shocking that a possible pay deal may be funded from existing budgets.

Tom Swarbrick said: "What I do really think is absolutely shocking is that a pay award, whatever it might end up being, might not be funded by new money - that schools would have to find that money to award the pay rise from existing budgets as the buildings creak and the resources to teach with dry up.

"It is completely counterproductive from the government's point of view, because whilst a pay rise might help in the short term, long term the work for teachers gets harder and doing the job gets more difficult with less money floating around.

READ MORE: Teachers on strike for second day this week, with many schools closed fully or partially on Friday

"They've already lost nine per cent of teachers, and from the people I know who are still in the job, who are still teaching, they all say that it's becoming very, very hard and isn't viewed by them as a career for life which I think is what teaching was.

"Outside of medicine and the law, teaching was a lifelong career. I'm not sure whether it is now."

Tom Swarbrick stresses not enough people are saving for retirement

He then asked his listeners: "If you're teaching now, fast-forward 10 years. Do you see yourself staying in the job?"

This is the seventh time since February that the NEU has participated in industrial action.

Back in April, the union boss Kevin Courtney told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC that teachers "regret" the disruption being caused by their strike action.

The government made a one-off payment offer of £1,000 this school year, a 4.3% rise in the next academic year, and the provision of a task force with the aim of reducing the workload on teachers.

READ MORE: Teachers 'regret' disruptive strikes, union boss says, as tens of thousands walk out on Thursday in pay dispute

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