September meeting latest attempt to break Soulbury pay deadlock

9 August 2023

Prospect and other unions representing education professionals covered by the Soulbury agreement are to hold another meeting with the employers in September, as both sides attempt to break the deadlock on pay negotiations.


Negotiations for the Soulbury Pay and Conditions Claim for 2022 have been going on for more than a year without a successful resolution.

In July 2022 the unions formally submit a pay claim of at least 9%.

The employers responded in November with an offer of an £1,925 increase on all pay points, which would equate to pay increases of between 2% and 5% for Education Improvement Professionals, plus an increase of 4.04% on allowances.

Since then, there have repeated attempts by the unions to engage in further talks to discuss how the offer could be improved.

“We have stressed over and over the severe fall in the real value of Soulbury Officer’s pay since 2010, and have emphasised the challenges this has created in recruiting and retaining the Soulbury staff required to maintain delivery of services and statutory obligations,” said Andy Jennings, Prospect national secretary.

He added that the employers’ side offer would represent a ‘very considerable real terms pay cut for members, when considering that RPI inflation stood at 13.8% in February 2023.

“The Employers’ Side have only viewed the staff as comparable to other local government workers rather than educational professionals and have taken no account of the significantly lower percentage pay increase that would result for Soulbury officers.”


The Soulbury unions represent educational improvement professionals, educational psychologists and managers of young people’s and community services employed by local authorities.

Prospect represents the greatest number of Soulbury officers; the other unions are the Association of Educational Psychologists and the National Education Union.


Education and children's services

Prospect represents professionals in education, children’s services, early years, commissioning and children’s social care.