The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) confirmed on Wednesday that it will move ahead with plans to ballot members in pursuit of a fair pay settlement for teachers.
It follows an “overwhelming” result in a recent consultative ballot, where 94% of EIS members voted to reject a 5% pay offer and 91% said they would be willing to move to strike action.
EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “The issuing of the formal ballot notices, as required by law, marks a further serious warning to Scotland’s local authorities and the Scottish Government that they must improve their pay offer to teachers or face up to the reality of strike action closing schools across Scotland this autumn.
“Teachers do not consider the prospect of taking strike action lightly, but our members are deeply angry at the continuing dragging of feet and the series of sub-inflationary pay offers that have brought us to this point.
“Teachers are highly skilled professionals who perform a vital job which is crucial to the entire country, and they fully deserve to be paid appropriately for the essential work that they do. The message from EIS members could not be clearer – pay us properly, or we will strike in schools across the length and breadth of Scotland.
“The EIS is confident that its members will again vote overwhelmingly for strike action in this statutory ballot.
“Time is now running out for an agreement to be reached. Cosla and the Scottish Government must come back with a better pay deal, which properly reflects the value of teachers, and which protects their salaries from further real-terms erosion amidst the soaring cost of living, in order to avert strike action on a scale that that will close schools across the country.”
The EIS has also called for an increase in teacher numbers and better opportunities for probationers or ‘bank’ staff to be given full-time contracts of employment as hundreds apply for each job advertised.