The NUT is continuing to press for a fair system of paying teachers on the Upper Pay Spine. We want a system that allows teachers to move up as part of their normal career progression, not one that places hurdles in their path.

This is not, however, the way the Government is thinking, nor the other teacher unions. The Government has persuaded the NASUWT, ATL, PAT, SHA and NAHT to join it and the national employers in cutting teachers’ legitimate pay expectations. These unions, described by the Government as the “national pay partners”, are members of RIG, (the Rewards and Incentives Group).

Salaries reduced

RIG has accepted the removal of the two highest pay points on the Upper Pay Scale to which teachers were promised the right to progress. The result is to reduce the maximum salary level by £2376.

Performance Pay introduced

RIG has also made recommendations to the School Teachers’ Review Body which will make progression on the Upper Pay Spine more difficult to achieve and will curtail the number of teachers who will be able to progress. They say that movement up to UPS2 and UPS3 should be based on two successful consecutive performance management reviews. These will include:
o classroom observation
o 'other evidence'

Teachers will also have to somehow show that they have "grown professionally" - a catch-all phrase if ever there was one to enable schools not to pay up.

It is probable that these new criteria will be incorporated in the 2004 Pay and Conditions Document - great news for the Government who will save millions of pounds which should have gone into teachers’ pay packets

For a large number of teachers, therefore, pay will be directly and inextricably tied to performance management. And for all teachers the principle of determining pay by performance management will have been established.

If anyone is looking for a reason why the NUT is not part of RIG, they need look no further.

NUT’s advice to members

* Progression of teachers on the UPS from September 2004 should still be based on the existing statutory criteria, which are that they are making a “substantial and sustained” contribution to the school – ie. are maintaining the Threshold Standards.
* Normal management information should be sufficient to inform the Headteacher's assessment.
* Performance Management targets should not be altered retrospectively to take account of proposed future alterations.

The NUT will continue to oppose these unfair proposals and the linking of performance management with pay.


If you are on a temporary contract which is coming to an end, and you have been continuously employed for a year or more, you may be entitled to some protection. Your employer must be able to present, in writing, a fair reason for terminating a contract if you ask for it. If you are unhappy about the ending of your contract, please ring the Union office for advice.


Although there is no maximum temperature, laid down by regulation, above which you cannot be expected to work, the temperature does have to be reasonable. The worst problems are often in new buildings in which window openings are too small to allow effective ventilation with a room full of pupils, and in IT rooms full of computers.
School managements can be resistant to tackling the problem because of the expense involved, but don’t sizzle in silence because improvements have been made in some schools. Ring the office for advice.


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