Scottish schools ‘heading for industrial action’ as pay offer rejected

Bearsden Academy was affected by a teachers' strike yesterday
Bearsden Academy was affected by a teachers' strike yesterday
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Teachers have rejected a “best and final” pay offer from employers as they say it falls far short of the 10 per cent wage rise they are seeking.

Salaries for the profession are set by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), which includes teachers’ representatives as well as councils and the Scottish Government.

But members of the teachers side of the SNCT confirmed they had rejected the offer of a 2 per cent or 3 per cent pay rise - which is in line with the Scottish Government’s pubic sector pay policy.

Labour education spokesman Iain Gray said that left schools “heading for industrial action”.

Ministers are proposing a 3 per cent increase for public sector workers earning up to £36,500, with higher paid staff getting up to 2 per cent - but the EIS teaching union has called for a 10 per cent rise for all teachers.

A spokesman for the teachers’ side of the SNCT said the offer on the table “fails to deliver on the need to value education and value teachers by delivering appropriate salaries for Scotland’s teaching professionals”.

As a result he said teachers’ negotiators “have rejected this offer of 2 per cent or 3 per cent for Scotland’s teachers, as it falls far short of the 10 per cent pay claim that was submitted”.

The spokesman also said they “rejected any notion of a differentiated deal that would award lower pay increases to teachers at some grades compared to colleagues at other grades”.

He said: “There is a growing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention across Scotland, and declining rates of pay is one of the key factors contributing to this problem.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Industrial action in our schools is not in the interest of anyone, least of all pupils and parents.

“Teachers’ pay is a matter for the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and negotiations for 2018-19 are now underway.

“The Scottish Government will play its part in those discussions and we urge everyone round the table to take a constructive approach.”