Teachers worse off by tens of thousands of pounds, analysis finds

Teachers in Scotland have lost out on thousands in the past six years, because of increased pension contributions and below-inflation rises, the NASUWT says

Teachers in Scotland have lost tens of thousands of pounds from their salaries since 2010, with the best-paid classroom staff down by more than £30,000 and headteachers by nearly £65,000, an analysis shows.

The study by a teaching union shows that failure to keep pace with inflation and increasing pension contributions have put Scotland near the foot of international rankings.

The figures also reveal that a teacher on point 1 of the main scale missed out on £18,177 cumulatively between 2010 and 2016; while a teacher at point 6 missed out on £25,753 over the same period.

‘Shocking’ loss of earnings

Jane Peckham, the Scotland organiser for teachers’ union the NASUWT, said that while officials knew the situation was bad, she had been “quite shocked” to see the findings of her organisation’s analysis. Her union also says that an increase in National Insurance contributions in April will “wipe out” the 2016 pay award agreed last year.

Details of the research emerged at NASUWT Scotland’s annual conference in Edinburgh this month, where members heard that the country ranked 22nd out of 32 nations for teacher salaries, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of another union has said that teachers at the top of the pay scale in England are £2,108 a year better off than equivalent teachers in Scotland.

Seamus Searson told the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association’s annual conference in Crieff that the Scottish government was “failing to address the fundamental issue of teachers’ pay” and called for a “substantial increase” to retain and attract teachers.

This is an edited version of an article in the 27 May edition of TESS. Subscribers can view the full story here. To subscribe, click here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here. You can also download the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. TESS magazine is available at all good newsagents.

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