A TEACHING union has said Welsh Government plans to give them a five per cent pay rise from September are ‘a slap in the face’.

The Welsh Government announced earlier today that teachers will receive a five per cent pay rise from September this year, taking the starting salary for a new teacher to £28,866 with pay for more experienced classroom teachers rising to £44,450.

The figure was proposed by the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (IWPRB) and accepted by Education Minister, Jeremy Miles.

School leaders’ union, NAHT Cymru has criticised the pay offer, saying it is in reality a pay cut.

Laura Doel, director of school leaders’ union NAHT Cymru, said: “The Welsh Government’s announcement on a five per cent award to teachers and leaders pay is in reality, a pay cut and does nothing to address the decade of cuts to salaries which has seen school leaders salaries cut by 20 per cent in real-terms.

“It will be seen as a slap in the face of dedicated education professionals who are exhausted and demoralised after another year of untold pressures and cuts to the vital services that support schools in their attempts to provide the very best conditions in which our children can thrive.

“The profession has worked tirelessly to support children and families in communities across Wales; it has overcome significant challenges as a result of the pandemic and continues to push ahead with the new curriculum and ALN legislation because they believe in putting the interest of their learners, our children and young people first.

“Schools are at the forefront of this governments plan to eradicated poverty, building safer communities and support the development of Welsh language yet that has not been reflected in this offer.

“We know that the people we put in front of our children have the biggest impact in learner outcomes; strong leaders, skilled teachers and support staff make all the difference and that is why they must be supported.

“At a time when we are all facing huge uncertainty as a result of the cost of living crisis, we must ensure that we recruit and retain the very best school workforce to equip this generation with whatever the future holds.

“The erosion of teachers and leaders’ terms and conditions will cause untold damage to education, cripple schools’ ability to deliver and have a detrimental impact on learners.

“These concerns will be further compounded if local authorities do not step up and fund pay awards fully.

“The government has made its decision and we will now go out to our membership in the new term to consult with them on the Government’s award and determine how to move forward."

Announcing the pay deal, Welsh Government Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, MS, said: “I am very proud of our commitment to social partnership working across the public sector in Wales to solve problems and find solutions to the economic, social and other challenges that face Wales at this present time.

“I am committed to finding ways we can continue to reward and recognise our teachers here in Wales through this difficult economic period and it is through our social partnership approach combined with the independent expertise of the IWPRB that I am able to make this announcement today.

"The IWPRB recommendation that, given the current economic uncertainties and pressures, future awards from September 2023 need to be kept under review is a sensible precaution I propose that these should therefore be used as a planning assumption, subject to such a review."