HC Deb 26 April 1990 vol 171 cc268-70W


1. All pay and conditions matters to be within scope. But only proposals for changes to the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (ie to pay, duties and working time) to require the Secretary of State's endorsement and acquire statutory force.


2. Main negotiating body to comprise representatives of the local authority employers and of the teacher unions, together with observers from the voluntary sector and grant maintained schools.

3. Separate sub-committee for heads and deputies, with rights as set out in paragraph 9 below.

Teachers' Side Composition

4. In the light of views expressed in earlier discussions this might be determined as follows:

  1. (a) rules about how representation is to be determined to be laid down in regulations;
  2. (b) the rules to cover
    1. (i) voting strength: to be determined for each union in proportion to the number of its members paid according to scales determined as a result of negotiations in the particular committee or sub-committee, and to be reviewed at least every 3 years and more frequently at the Secretary of State's discretion;
    2. (ii) numbers of representatives per union, with a limit on total numbers attending. In view of (i), the number of representatives need not vary with the size of the union. Should the rule be no more than two, or perhaps three, representatives per union, in order to keep meetings to a manageable size?
    3. (iii) returns of union membership: a requirement for unions to make returns annually to the Certification Officer identifying separately the number of members within their total membership figures whose pay and conditions 269 are determined by each separate element of the new machinery, with a provision for the returns to be subject to audit;
    4. (iv) threshold for representation: what union membership threshold should be set before an association justified membership of the teachers' side, and should provision be made to accommodate small associations representing distinctive groups of teachers?

Management side composition

5. To be determined by the employers, within a limit that total numbers attending should not exceed the limit for the teachers' side. Observer status to be given in addition to two representatives of the voluntary sector, one each appointed by the Catholic Education Council and the General Synod of the Church of England Board of Education, and to a representative of the grant maintained schools appointed by the Secretary of State.


6. The Burnham "one voice" convention (whereby only single union and management positions were put forward and differences of view within each side were not aired publicly) should not operate.

7. Each side to appoint its own chairman in each committee. Chairmanship of committees for discussion: is there advantage in an independent chairman?

8. Decisions in the negotiating body will be reached when the two sides are in agreement with each other. It is for consideration whether a simple majority of the votes within each side should suffice for the establishment of that side's position or whether some other majority should be required eg two thirds.

9. Agreements reached in the heads and deputies sub-committee to take the form of recommendations to the main committee. The main committee not to be able to reject such recommendations without first referring them back to the sub-committee.

10. Agreements reached in main negotiating body for changes to the Document to take the form of recommendations to the Secretary of State for statutory implementation.

11. Secretary of State to establish a firm deadline—probably the end of January for an April settlement—for completion of negotiations on changes to the Document, with automatic reference to second stage body if negotiations not completed in time. But the Secretary of State has an open mind on a switch to a September settlement date if that seemed advantageous.

Government Reserve Powers

12. Secretary of State to have the power to refer back to the negotiating body with reasons recommendations made by them for changes to the Document, for further consideration within a defined timescale.

13. If the Secretary of State remains dissatisfied with the recommendations following a reference back he should have the power to override the negotiating body's recommendations, subject to the agreement of Parliament under the negative resolution procedure.

14. The Secretary of State will not set a constraint on the cost of the negotiating body's recommendations at the outset of its work, but the employers will negotiate against the background of the assumptions about standard spending in the Government's proposals for the local authority grant settlement. The Secretary of State would not normally refer back or override on cost grounds pay recommendations falling within the inter-quartile range of non-manual private sector settlements.

Second Stage Body

15. If the deadline for negotations passes without agreement being reached consideration of a settlement shall be referred by the Secretary of State for advice to a body similar to the present IAC, appointed by him and with terms of reference set by him which would not go outside the inter-quartile range. Thus the advisory body would make recommendations to the Secretary of State and he would determine pay in the light of their recommendations. (Statutory provision for this could be based on sections 2 and 3 of, and Schedule 1 to the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Act 1987).

Local Pay Determination

16. The Act establishing new national pay determination arrangements should contain provision for individual local authorities or the governing bodies of GM schools which wish to do so to determine teachers' pay and conditions locally. This is in order to provide maximum flexibility to respond to local needs and circumstances.

17. The Act would provide for local education authorities and GM school governing bodies to apply to the Secretary of State for the provisions of the Act obliging them to pay teachers only in accordance with the scales and other provisions resulting from the national pay determination process, and giving statutory force to national conditions of employment, to be disapplied from them. Applicants would be required to state what provisions they proposed to put in place of the national arrangements.

18. The relevant provisions of the Act would apply to teachers in all LEA maintained schools and GM schools unless specifically disapplied by the Secretary of State.

19. Before making an application local education authorities would be obliged to consult on their proposals for local pay and conditions provisions with the governing bodies of their maintained schools, and with the local representatives of teacher unions recognised nationally for pay determination purposes. The governing body of a GM school would be obliged to consult with the staff of the school. In each case applicants would be required to report the views expressed, together with their comments on those views, to the Secretary of State when making the application.

20. If the Secretary of State approved an employer's application, the national arrangements would cease to apply from the date the employer put the arrangements described in the application, subject to any variation agreed by the Secretary of State, into place. The local pay and conditions provisions put into place by a LEA would apply to all the schools it maintained.

21. Once the relevant provisions of the Act had been disapplied from a local authority or a governing body their future approach to pay and conditions matters would be unconstrained except that

  1. (a) any change in their initial local provisions within 12 months of the date of their implementation would require the Secretary of State's consent; and
  2. (b) local education authorities would be placed under a general obligation to consult with the governing bodies of their maintained schools and with the teachers concerned before implementing proposals for changes in local pay and conditions provisions.