Dont have an account?Sign up here
6 October 2009
Commenting on shadow chancellor George Osborne's proposals to tackle the economic problems, set out today at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union in the UK, said:
"Teachers and other public service workers will be dismayed by the comments by the shadow chancellor today.
"The shadow chancellor's proposal for freezing and cutting pay levels cannot be backed by any guarantee of future job security so public service workers could face a double whammy of pay freeze and job loss.
"The shadow chancellor says that the better-off must take their share of the pain, yet he fails to make any concrete proposals with regard to the bankers and their bonuses which were a major contributory factor to the current recession.
"Public service workers and the community will pay the price for reckless bankers.
"George Osborne is on record as saying that 'I think we need to look at these three year pay deals that the government came up with because they may be very inflexible…..the age of excess is over and we need an age of restraint and responsibility".
"It therefore comes as no surprise that public service workers are first in the firing line.
"While problems have undoubtedly been seen in the banking sector and elsewhere, the "age of excess" has passed the vast majority of public service workers by. The increase in public sector pay over the last decade has been a necessity, not a luxury.
"An independent review body has considered teachers' pay at a time of recession and has re-confirmed the award is appropriate, reasonable and affordable in the current economic climate.
"If government is to have the trust and confidence of public service workers and the public then it must stick by the agreements reached. The teachers' multi-year pay award has a year to run. Reneging on this part of the deal, at this stage, would be a betrayal of teachers who have delivered their part of the bargain."