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Help needed - pay cut without warning?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by IloveCornwall3, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. IloveCornwall3

    IloveCornwall3 New commenter

    Hello everyone, I need some help with a problem at school with pay and conditions. I work in an independent secondary school in the South West and all the teaching staff have received a letter recently, entitled "Pay Review September 2018". It states: "I am pleased to inform you that the Governors have agreed to increase the salary scales for Teaching Staff for the academic year 2018.19. I can confirm that your annual salary, UPS3, with effect from 1 September 2018 will be £39,017 . The letter continues to thank staff and praise staff for going 'above and beyond', being a hallmark of 'leading schools' and building a reputation as a 'great employer, offering attractive salaries.'

    Quite a lot of us, of a certain age, are on the same scale point - UPS3 - and imagine our shock when we checked the union and TES pay scales for 2018 figures and found that in the maintained sector USP3 is £39,406 - a difference of £389 per annum. The salary scales have always been tied to the state sector for as long as anyone can remember so we were all upset and to be honest quite disgusted since no-one from management has even hinted that we would be paid less than the state sector or conditions would be changed. Also, there is a clause in everyone's teaching contract which states, "The Teacher shall received an annual salary not less than that calculated in accordance with the National Salary Scales applying to teachers in the maintained sector (that is the scales set out in The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions document published from time to time by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, or any appropriate replacement or modification thereof).

    Please can the experts amongst you give some guidance and advice on this? We really want to know if we can challenge this and how to go about it? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The figure you mention is the maximum for the upper pay range, and schools are permitted to pay anything between the lower and upper limits. There is no mention of UPS3 in STPCD, only limits. Some (many?) schools still use the old pay points, but that is their, or their LA's choice. The unions do seem to assume that the old points are always valid, but there is nothing in STPCD to say this is true. So, I don't think you can claim that you would be paid more under STPCD. However I can understand why you think you should be on the maximum. If you and your colleagues want to challenge it, then the obvious suggestion is to involve your union.
  3. IloveCornwall3

    IloveCornwall3 New commenter

    Another teacher received a letter today saying the governors had awarded a 1% pay rise to teachers on UPS3. Surely that's below the STPCD given the recent pay award? Also, surely UPS3 is the maxima and UPS1 is the minima since there's nothing above UPS3 and nothing below UPS1?
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you read STPCD (have you?) you will see that there is nothing about UPS3. School which use those labels may well make UPS3 the same as the maximum, but STPCD does not insist that they do. So your school is entitled to pay below the maximum and still call it UPS3. I don't think that this is the right thing to do, but I think they can. There have been similar threads about schools which have divided M6 into two, so not everyone on M6 is at the top of their scale.

    However, as it is misleading, you can challenge it, and I stand by my advice to do this via your union. Or you could query it with the school first.
  5. IloveCornwall3

    IloveCornwall3 New commenter

    I have read STPCD. I understand maxima and minima is a legal expression to ensure the entire range is subject to a rise and not cherrypicked parts.

    But ...

    Surely there's a simpler logic here. The government has given teachers a pay rise of 2% for "those on the upper pay range" (source:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-fund-pay-rise-for-teachers). This school has given a pay rise of 1%. The teacher's contract states: "The Teacher shall receive an annual salary not less than that calculated in accordance with the National Salary Scales". Therefore since the school's rise is 1% less than the maintained, it must be in breach of contract. Or am I missing something?
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    No it isn't. It is exactly what it says. Where teachers are placed within the scales is up to the pay policy of the school, as STPCD says. 14.1. A teacher on the upper pay range must be paid such salary within the minimum and maximum of the upper pay range set out below as the relevant body determines. I.e. the school or LA decides.

    Yes, I think you are. Schools do not have to give the 2% increase except to those at the bottom of the scale. There is nothing about passing on rises to everybody in STPCD. I don't agree with this, by the way. There have been threads on the subject.

    But there is no point in arguing with me about it. If you disagree, you union is best placed to help you, as I have said twice already.
    strawbs likes this.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I should add that I am not unsympathetic with you - I am just giving my interpretation of STPCD. You are in a similar position to some other teachers who lost out when fixed pay points were removed from STPCD and schools were given discretion to set their own pay policies within ranges. Some penny-pinching schools saw this as an excuse to not move people up the scale and to not pass on national pay rises.
  8. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    As Piranha says, STPCD is often wrongly read as having to apply to each point on a pay scale (of which schools are free to label them how they wish). It doesn't.
    It says: (my bold)
    September 2018 pay award
    In response to the recommendations in the STRB’s 28 th Report, from 1 September 2018:
    i. a 3.5% uplift has been applied to the statutory minima and maxima of the main pay range and of the unqualified teachers pay range.
    ii. a 2% uplift to the statutory minima and maxima of the upper pay range, the leading practitioner pay range and all allowances across all pay ranges.
    iii. a 1.5% uplift to the leadership pay ranges (including headteacher groups).
    Except for teachers and leaders on the minima of their respective ranges or group ranges, schools must determine – in accordance with their own pay policy – how to take account of the uplift to the national framework in making individual pay progression decisions.
    All pay uplifts will be back-dated to 1 September 2018.
    Piranha likes this.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Thank you, @strawbs - you have made it all very clear.
    strawbs likes this.
  10. IloveCornwall3

    IloveCornwall3 New commenter

    The unions have now got back to us all and they have both said the school does have to abide by the pay rise and UPS1-3 should get pay rises and the clause in the contract should be adhered to so they will be talking to the school in the next few weeks.
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Their interpretation of the part of STPCD that @strawbs has quoted is obviously different to mine, but unions have often indulged in wishful thinking. However, I think you have a moral case to be at the top of the new pay band so I hope they can convince the school.

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