Scotland's largest teaching union has warned of a 'growing clamour' for industrial action after dismissing 'derisory' pay deal

Scotland’s largest teaching union has warned of a “growing clamour” among its members for industrial action as it dismissed the Scottish Government’s latest pay offer as “derisory”.

The latest pay offer to Scotland’s teachers has been unanimously rejected by the EIS Salaries Committee and, subsequently, by teachers’ representatives at a meeting on Friday.

The offer from the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) had constituted a 1.22 per cent pay award – already previously rejected by teaching unions – with an additional one-off payment.

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Des Morris, EIS salaries convener and chair of the Teachers’ Side of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), said: “The latest revised offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA is derisory.

Unions have warned that teaching staff need a better pay deal.Unions have warned that teaching staff need a better pay deal.
Unions have warned that teaching staff need a better pay deal.

"With inflation currently running at around 4 per cent, we have already made very clear to the employers’ side that we will not accept an offer of 1.22 per cent for our members.

"For COSLA and the Scottish Government to then take weeks to come back with essentially the same offer, with some minor cosmetic window-dressing added, is an insult to the professionalism and hard-work of every teacher in Scotland.”

Teaching unions tabled a salary claim for 2021/22 almost a year ago, calling for a pay award of between 3 per cent to 5 per cent for Scotland’s teachers.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “It is simply beyond belief that the employers have come back again with this paltry offer to Scotland’s teaching professionals.

"After many months of talking up the value of education and the value of teachers to the nation’s recovery from the pandemic, COSLA and the Scottish Government then turn around and offer a real-terms pay cut to Scotland’s teachers.

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"Months of dragging their feet has only served to further erode the value of an already pitiful offer, while also hardening the resolve of increasingly scunnered teachers to see their efforts appropriately acknowledged in their pay settlement.”

The national EIS Council, which meets next week, will now consider the next steps to be taken in pursuit of a fair pay settlement for Scotland’s teachers.

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It said while the preference of the EIS is for a negotiated settlement, there is “a growing clamour amongst members for a move to industrial action in pursuit of a fair pay award”.

Meanwhile, the NASWUT union said “no option is being discounted” in the quest for fair pay. It previously said, in a survey of 700 teachers, an "overwhelming majority indicated a willingness to take further action if necessary over the pay offer".

NASUWT general secretary Patrick Roach said: “Teachers are increasingly angry at the failure to agree a pay award that recognises the significant contribution they have made during the pandemic and continue to make as part of education recovery.”

Scottish Labour’s education spokesperson Michael Marra said: “Teachers are the key to our young people’s recovery from Covid and should be respected as such. The SNP have done no analysis on the damage the pandemic has caused and no plan to recover.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Discussions within the SNCT are ongoing and we will continue to play our part in that process. It is, of course, for local government as the employer to put forward a pay offer”

A Cosla spokesperson said: “We remain in constructive dialogue.”

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