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One of the largest teaching unions has voted to join other unions to oppose government attempts to introduce regional pay for UK public sector workers.At its annual conference in Torquay in April, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) supported a motion mandating the leadership to prepare for industrial action as part of a ‘wider alliance across the whole of the public sector’ if the government brings forward proposals to regionalise public sector pay.Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said: “The NUT is completely opposed to the Government’s plan to attack national pay and conditions arrangements for teachers. Our head teacher members are only too well aware of how difficult it would be to establish their own pay system for their school. Local pay bargaining in some 25,000 separate school would create unnecessary bureaucracy, complexity, cost and potential inequity. The NUT will seek to work alongside other teacher unions to defend teachers against any proposals to attack national terms and conditions.”Over the Easter weekend, the NUT and the other major teaching union NASUWT backed plans to speed up their campaigns on pension cuts and pay.Strikes are likely next term and in the autumn, with teaching unions aiming to join other unions in national protests. The issue of regional pay was first raised by Chancellor George Osborne earlier this year, fuelling widespread criticism from public sector unions. He suggested public sector workers could be paid a rate which was in line with local levels, claiming this might stimulate the private sector and asked independent pay review bodies to investigate regional pay in the public sector.Teachers, like many other public sector workers in the UK have nationally agreed rates of pay, so that teachers on a similar grade in different parts of the country earn roughly the same, although those teaching in London earn more through ‘London weighting’.In February this year, Education Secretary Michael Gove wrote to the body advising the government on teachers’ salaries in England and Wales for advice on “how to make pay more market-facing for teachers” in local areas. However, a spokesman for the Department of Education said talk of industrial action was “premature”. TUC leaders warned that regional pay variations for public sector workers will hit struggling local economies and intensify the North-South divide. They claimed that moves to reduce salaries in poorer parts of the country would hurt businesses and cause job losses by reducing spending power in those areas.