Mark Sinclair's blog - 6 July: Why are teachers excluded from salary sacrifice schemes?
06 July 2015
Mark Sinclair is Tusker's chief operating officer
As soon as the dust had settled following this month's General Election, it was all systems go with our ongoing campaign to change a loophole in teachers' pay and conditions, which inadvertently prevents them from benefitting from salary sacrifice car schemes.
We've been campaigning for over a year now and have significantly increased activity and engagement following our research which found that, closing the loophole could save state maintained school teachers £1,300 a year - over four times more than the benefits of a 1% pay rise - and at no cost to the taxpayer. This dwarfs the 1% pay rise most teachers can expect to get this year, which for a classroom teacher will be a maximum increase of around £300.
Before the election, the Government said it would consider changing the rules.
Our campaign has the support of hundreds of teachers, who have signed our on-line petition. It has also reached the attention of Lee Helyer, a teacher at Shaftesbury High School and the NUT Divisional Secretary for Harrow, who is also pressing for change.
He told us that it could be done tomorrow and went on to say "let maintained school teachers have the same benefits as those in academies and help them get to work. It doesn't cost anything and would make a huge difference to many teachers busy working lives and as a result the young people they teach."
We also have the cross-party support of 22 MPs who signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons and MPs from all the main parties attended our campaign event in the Houses of Parliament earlier this year to show their support.
We will continue to work with teaching unions and MPs to have this rule changed so that teachers can have access to the same cost savings as nurses, accountants, solicitors and other professionals, especially at a time when wages in teaching are stagnating.