Support staff unions demand 12.7% pay rise

Feb 8, 2023 | Recruitment Posts

Unions representing school support staff are asking for an above-inflation pay rise from April.

A flat increase to bring the minimum rate of pay to £15 per hour within two years, is also under consideration.

In a pay claim for 2023-24, Unison, GMB and Unite – which represent support staff – warn that the latest pay award has been “completely wiped out” by rising household costs.  They have asked for a rise of RPI inflation and an additional 2 per cent, which works out at 12.7 per cent on current rates.

And they say that it’s now “easier than ever” for staff to find better-paid work elsewhere if they feel undervalued.

In a document outlining their demands, the unions also ask for an additional day of annual leave for personal or wellbeing purposes, a reduction in the working week by two hours and a home-working allowance for staff for whom it is a requirement to work from home.

Later in the document, they call for recognition that special educational needs and disabilities specialisms are “not currently accounted for” in the Green Book – a handbook of terms and conditions – and for an agreement to review “job evaluation outcomes for school staff whose day-to-day work includes working on SEND or ALN”.

Last year support staff accepted a pay rise of £1,925, which equated to a 10.5 per cent rise for the lowest-paid staff, but a lower percentage rise for higher earners.

‘Unfunded’ school support staff pay rise

While the rise was welcomed, school leaders warned it could “break” their budgets, and special school leaders said their schools could become financially unviable without extra funding.

The three unions make up one side of the national joint council that negotiates pay for the majority of local government workers.

Academies tend to follow any pay deal as well, even though they have freedom to deviate from them.

The pay request comes as teachers are at loggerheads with the government over pay, with strike action set to take place over the coming weeks.

Original post via TES here.

To read the full document from UNISON, click here.