Training secretary Gillian Keegan has warned the College Lecturers’ Evaluate Physique (STRB) to think about the impression of subsequent yr’s pay suggestions on inflation.
In her remit letter to the physique, printed on Wednesday, Keegan advised it it was “notably vital that you’ve got regard to the Authorities’s inflation goal” when forming its view on 2023/24 pay awards.
“Pay awards should strike a cautious stability, recognising the very important significance lecturers and different public sector employees, while […] not rising the nation’s debt additional, and being cautious to not drive costs even increased sooner or later,” she added.
The federal government units the Financial institution of England a goal to maintain inflation at 2 per cent, however the present charge of inflation within the UK is 11.1 per cent.
The STRB are anticipated to supply a report assessing adjustments that needs to be made to salaries for lecturers, unqualified lecturers and college leaders for the subsequent tutorial yr in Might.
It comes after trainer pay rises introduced by the federal government this yr had been unfunded, that means faculties have been pressured to search out different methods to cowl the fee.
The Division of Training (DfE) can select to be extra express within the remits it units for the STRB, because it was when public sector pay rises had been capped at 1 per cent between 2011 and 2017, or when pay for many employees was frozen in 2021.
This prompted accusations that the DfE was searching for to “constrain” the supposedly-independent assessment physique.
However Keegan’s newest letter is broader, with no particular constraints positioned on the rises it will probably advocate.
It additionally asks the STRB to “take note of” the federal government’s dedication to spice up beginning salaries to £30,000. Nonetheless, it doesn’t state that this purpose should be achieved by subsequent yr.
The DfE awarded skilled lecturers a 5 per cent pay rise from this September. The STRB had really useful a 3 per cent rise and better rises to beginning salaries in 2023.
Beginning salaries additionally rose by 8.9 per cent as deliberate, as a part of the pledge to boost beginning pay to £30,000.
However unions argue the will increase don’t go far sufficient. Ballots on industrial motion over pay are presently being held by the lecturers’ union NASUWT, in addition to faculty leaders’ union NAHT.
The Nationwide Training Union (NEU) can also be balloting lecturers on strikes, which have been pencilled in for the finish of January.
An evaluation by the Institute for Fiscal Research (IFS) estimated that in actual phrases, the worth of skilled trainer pay shall be 14 per cent decrease than in 2010.