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Unions, Performance-Related Pay and Procedural Justice: the Case of Classroom Teachers

  • Richard Belfield
  • David Marsden

Performance-related pay (PRP) and performance management (PM) are now a part of the organizationallandscape that unions face in the UK's public services. While PRP and PM threaten the scope of traditionalunion bargaining activities, they simultaneously offer a new role to unions as providers of 'procedural justiceservices' to both union members and employers. We explore the case of the introduction of these systems forclassroom teachers in England and Wales as a means of testing this idea. Our survey evidence shows thatclassroom teachers experiencing the introduction of PRP have expressed a strong demand for such services fromthe teachers' unions. Further, analysis of the PRP implementation process for classroom teachers indicates thatthe teachers' unions have progressively assumed a 'procedural justice role' since its introduction. Union actionin this regard has led to substantial modification over time of classroom teachers' PRP and PM. These changeshave addressed many of the concerns of teachers, have created a new institutional role for the relevant unions,and may permit the systems to avoid the operational difficulties they have experienced elsewhere in the UK'spublic services.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0660.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0660
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. David Marsden, 2000. "Teachers Before the Threshold," CEP Discussion Papers dp0454, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Stephen French & Katsuyuki Kubo & David Marsden, 2001. "Does Performance Pay De-Motivate, and Does It Matter?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0503, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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