Pledge teachers in Wales will not be paid less than in England
There is no question of teachers in Wales being paid less than in England, First Minister Carwyn Jones has said.
The UK government has said it will devolve pay and conditions for teachers as part of the Wales Bill, which is passing through Parliament.
Mr Jones told AMs the Welsh Government would ensure teachers were "well rewarded", despite union fears.
Wales Office Minster Guto Bebb accused unions who opposed the plan of wanting to "have their cake and eat it".
During First Minister's Questions on Tuesday, Mr Jones said: "As is the case in other areas where pay and conditions have been devolved there's no question, no question at all, of teachers being paid less than teachers in England.
"We will ensure that our teachers are well rewarded for the skills that they have and will ensure that the profession is able to practice in Wales with the full support of the government."
Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative leader, said there had been a nine per cent decline in people applying to be teachers in the last year, and asked what Mr Jones was going to do to change the figures.
"Not follow what the government in London is doing, because it clearly isn't working", Mr Jones said.
On the promise to devolve teachers' pay and conditions, Mr Bebb told BBC Radio's Good Morning Wales programme: "I'm somewhat surprised to the negative response to this announcement.
"Education is devolved to the Welsh Government - the one aspect which is not is teachers' pay.
"If the largest part of your education budget is teachers' pay, then surely it is only right that the people making decisions about what type of education we need in Wales are also making decisions in relation to the pay teachers will get in Wales.
"What I'm quite surprised about is that the unions seem to be wanting to have their cake and eat it.
"They constantly say that the Welsh Government is listening to them more on education and yet, when we're also devolving teachers' pay, they seem to fall back on the position that they want to have the national rates agreed throughout the United Kingdom.
"I've seen no indication whatsoever from Welsh Government that they will vary pay in Wales in comparison with the situation in England."