FIVE years of pay restraint has forced teachers to live “two to a room,” delegates at NUT conference said yesterday.
A motion unanimously passed by the conference noted that teachers have suffered a 16 per cent real-terms pay cut and called for the restoration of mandatory wage scales and national bargaining.
But an amendment vowing to support grassroots housing campaigns saw delegates recount horror stories of being driven to live in destitution by the housing crisis and soaring living costs.
NUT executive member Stefan Simms said teachers in his home borough of Ealing were suffering from being classed as an outer London borough — meaning their allowance for living in the capital was significantly less.
“One colleague said he was living with eight other teachers, two to a room,” he said.
“Some commute from as far as Eastbourne.”
Lambeth delegate Toby Cadoux said he had heard of similar cases.
“It’s not a rarity, it’s happening again and again,” he said.
“Many of the young teachers I know live with their parents, not through choice but because of the impossibility of anything else.
“When I ask colleagues about the possibility of buying a house they just laugh.”
The amendment, which also received widespread support, said soaring living costs in London were “making it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain teachers.”
Teachers joined the recent Homes for London demonstration in a bid to highlight the effects of skyrocketing rents on children’s education and working conditions.