Schools face strike threat

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The Independent Online
THE LARGEST teaching union yesterday threw down the gauntlet to the Government, threatening bitter strikes to prevent the introduction of payment by results in schools.

Doug McAvoy, General Secretary of the 192,000-strong National Union of Teachers, said the issue was explosive.

Delegates meeting in Harrogate issued an ultimatum on performance-related pay to ministers gathering for the Labour Party conference in Blackpool.

The union also threatened industrial action over this year's pay claim. It has already demanded a 10 per cent rise, but delegates called for a pounds 2,000 across-the-board increase - worth up to 16.5 per cent for the lowest paid staff.

Mr McAvoy condemned the Government's submission last week to the School Teachers' Pay Review Body, calling for restraint in this year's pay deal.

A Green Paper of teachers' pay and conditions, due to be published later this autumn, will include "fundamental" reform of teachers' pay scales - widely expected to include performance-related pay.

The NUT yesterday debated a compromise pay structure linking salary increases to tests of teachers' professional skills.

But Mr McAvoy said any attempt to impose a system linking pay and exam results or appraisals by head teachers, would provoke fury.

He also branded "obscene" a pounds 30,000 pay rise awarded to Chris Woodhead, the controversial Chief Inspector of Schools, earlier this month, taking his salary to pounds 115,000.