Divisive plans to transfer responsibility for teachers’ wages to Wales are the only way to save national rates, Welsh education union Ucac president Ioan Jones insisted yesterday.
Mr Jones said the move would scupper Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove’s dangerous plans to let individual headteachers set pay.
The transfer proposed by the Silk commission on devolution is opposed by the NUT and Nasuwt teaching unions, which say the weak Welsh economy would drag down pay.
But Ucac’s position was boosted this week when Welsh Education Minister Huw Lewis said he wanted the powers.
Mr Jones told the Star: “Pay and conditions have already been devolved all the way to school level.
“Heads and governors are able to set whatever pay and conditions they like.
“We can’t see how other unions can complain about a Welsh answer when all we’ve got is a localised answer, which is the worst possible situation.”
He also argued that pay for college teachers has actually gone up since it has been set in Wales.
Mr Jones’s comments came ahead of the TUC-affiliated union’s annual conference in Mold this weekend.
Ucac took part in recent talks over forming one teaching union of Britain but Mr Jones said a “London-centric” view from other unions stands in the way of a formal merger.
He said: “We are very supportive of co-operating with our brothers and sisters in the cause.
“But there are some policy differences that we will adhere to strongly.”
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