HC Deb 18 May 1982 vol 24 cc173-4
1. Mr. Jim Marshall

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further progress has been made in the Burnham machinery about the teachers' pay claim.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Sir Keith Joseph)

The claim for schoolteachers in England and Wales has been referred to arbitration. The arbitral hearing opens tomorrow.

Mr. Marshall

How does the Secretary of State expect the teachers to react when they compare their miserable pay award with the Government's recommendations of 14 per cent. for top civil servants and 18 per cent. for judges? Would they not be right to conclude that the Government value the contribution of top civil servants and judges far more than that of the hard-working teaching profession?

Sir Keith Joseph

It is of no value to the teachers if, for lack of what is thought by a review body to be the right scale, Britain lacks recruits of the right quality to man the top of the judiciary and the Civil Service. The teachers must take account of what the employing authorities reckon they can afford.

Mr. Kinnock

Is the Secretary of State relying on widespread unemployment to ensure that there are teachers of high quality? When will that process catch up with the judges? Are the arbitrators working in the knowledge that the Government will make resources available to meet a reasonable recommendation, or is their whole function being undermined by the knowledge that the Government will make no more money available for a teachers' pay increase?

Sir Keith Joseph

The numbers involved in the former category are quite different from those in the latter. The economic circumstance of supply and demand for teachers is a factor that must be taken into account.

Mr. Durant

Will my right hon. Friend remind the House of the pay increases received by teachers in the past three years?

Sir Keith Joseph

My hon. Friend is right to remind the House that teachers received a substantial make-good pay award under the arrangements made by Professor Clegg. The review body found that the judiciary has severely lagged behind the recommendations that have been made in previous years.