THE NEW PAY POLICY – please read this VERY important letter posted today to Head Teachers

8th July 2013

Dear Head Teacher colleague,

We would be very grateful if you would copy this letter to the next meeting of the full Governing Body as well as that of your Personnel / Staffing Committee. Given the seriousness of this matter we would invite you to give this your personal attention.

You will be aware that, this week, the Local Authority Schools HR Service published a ‘Draft Model Pay Policy for Schools’ and accompanied it with a letter suggesting some of the reasons why we will not support it. No doubt you have read their letter in which they have highlighted:

• The issue of pay portability – removal of the obligation to match existing salary.
• The criteria to be used to determine pay progression for main scale and threshold.
• Differentiated pay progression.

Obviously, we have further concerns:

• The ‘terms’ that a Governing Body will use could be different in every one of the 360+ schools in the county (see page 9 of the document)
• The ‘terms’ show little objectivity (page 9)
• Hearsay can be used as evidence (page 8)
• The geography of the area could be important (page 18/19)
• There will be no guarantees as to whether or not pay progression occurs (page 19)
• Illness will be penalised (page 9)

Many of these issues will give rise to arbitrary, subjective and unjust decisions which will have a cumulative effect on the loss of a teacher’s salary which will be difficult to make up.

Another major issue is that an Equalities Impact Assessment has not been completed with regards to the policy. Any pay policy which has provisions for differentiated pay decisions risks being discriminatory or breaching equal pay legislation. One example from the NYCC policy:

‘Consideration will be given to payment for involvement in out of school hours learning activities which fall outside a teacher’s directed time.’ (Page 32)

Potentially, this may have a different impact on a single teacher as opposed to a teacher carer/parent and is therefore unacceptable.

In effect, these and similar situations will proliferate a dramatic increase of grievances and employment tribunals across the county. It is important that schools are aware of the consequences, and Governors are aware of the increased personal and collective liabilities of adopting a policy such as the one NYCC is suggesting.

North Yorkshire schools need to be fully aware of the fact that the NUT/NASUWT model pay policy complies fully with the new regulations and, if adopted, would avoid the problems envisaged if the NYCC policy were to be adopted.

Further, there is no requirement to adopt the NYCC policy and in their covering letter they state:

‘Please note that although we have provided a model pay policy there is no requirement to adopt it. As a minimum, we would recommend that this policy is read alongside the DfE’s ‘Departmental Advice’…..’

Indeed, Mr Gove in his letter of 22nd May stated:

‘I feel I must also make it quite clear that nowhere has my department stated that its model pay policy must be adopted …’

And again:

‘Schools are entirely free to adopt and adapt it or not…’

This week the Local Authority HR Service also published the updated version of their ‘Appraisal Policy Template’ for schools,

You will remember that we wrote to you in November when we stated:

‘We very much appreciate and applaud those schools that have not changed their Performance Management/ Appraisal policy from the one that had been agreed by all interested parties in 2006 and was working perfectly well before 1st September 2012. There is no reason to adopt the new North Yorkshire Appraisal Policy; indeed there are good reasons not to as we lay out in the accompanying letter.’

We would like to state that we do not support the new NYCC Appraisal or Pay policies. We will therefore be actively seeking support from our members in order to take industrial action in schools which adopt these policies.

Finally, we would like to add our thanks for the individual professionalism of Senior HR colleagues during the consultation process. They have sought to compromise and share many of our concerns but have been put in such a difficult position by this present Secretary of State that agreement has been impossible.

Should you need to discuss this matter further please contact either of us.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Busby NUT Secretary Chris Head NASUWT Secretary

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