Nadhim Zahawi Says He Still Supports A Nine Per Cent Pay Rise For New Teachers

Award would pile huge pressure on the new Chancellor to bring in similar settlements for other public sector workers.
Teachers are threatening to strike over pay.
Teachers are threatening to strike over pay.
Ben Birchall via PA Wire/PA Images

Nadhim Zahawi has said he is still in favour of giving new teachers a nine per cent pay rise.

The new chancellor said he had not changed his position despite no longer being education secretary.

If approved, the rise could be seen by other public sector unions as the green light to pursue their own big-money pay deals, despite government calls for wage restraint.

Zahawi, who took over as chancellor last night following the resignation of Rishi Sunak, told Radio Four’s Today programme: “We made a pledge in our manifesto that the starting salary of teachers would rise to £30,000.

“To get there, that nine per cent is what I have advised the pay review bodies I need to do, and 7.7 per cent for next year to get a starting salary to £30,000.

“That I had agreed in the spending review so I am not going out of my spending envelope and I’m recommending five per cent over two years for senior teachers.”

However, he also suggested that other public sector workers may have to settle for smaller pay awards.

“I will look at the evidence from the pay review bodies and we will make a collective decision,” he said.

“The important thing is fiscal discipline because we’ve got to bear down on the blight of inflation.”

Unions have warned of a “summer of discontent”, with a wave of strikes as workers try to get pay deals to help them cope with rising inflation, which is tipped to hit double figures later this year.

Rail workers have already staged three days of industrial action in a dispute over pay and jobs, while teachers and NHS staff have also warned that they could go on strike as well to secure better conditions.

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