EIS union warns 'calls for action' growing as it condemns teacher pay offer

Scotland’s largest teaching union has condemned as “wholly unacceptable” a pay offer that it says would result in a significant real-terms pay cut for Scotland’s teachers and has warned “calls for action are growing louder”.

The Educational Institute of Scotland’s (EIS) salaries committee, which met on Thursday, discussed the growing anger in schools over the sub-inflationary pay offer from COSLA and the Scottish Government.

The union remains in dispute with the employers on teacher pay, with a pay settlement for teachers now more than six months overdue.

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The current offer on the table from COSLA and the Scottish Government is for 1.22 per cent – below the rate of inflation, which is at 4 per cent.

The EIS has condemned the pay offer.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said of the meeting: “Members of the salaries committee shared the growing frustration and anger from EIS members across Scotland at the pay cut that is being suggested for Scotland’s teachers.

"Based on the current rate of inflation of 4 per cent, Scotland’s teachers are being offered a real-terms pay cut of 2.78 per cent this year. This is absolutely unacceptable and an insult to hard-pressed teachers who have been working flat out throughout the pandemic to provide a sound learning experience for all young people.”

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Mr Flanagan added: “Today’s salaries committee heard of growing demands for consideration of industrial action and agreed to memo the EIS executive, which is responsible for initiating ballots, to this effect. Local and national government have had a lot to say about the high value of education and teachers throughout the pandemic, but the EIS is very clear that a substantial pay cut is scant reward for Scotland’s teachers.

"Clearly the mood amongst our members is hardening and calls for action are growing louder. After nearly ten months of talks, COSLA and the Scottish Government need to end the procrastination and come back quickly with a substantially improved offer to resolve this dispute.”

A COSLA spokesperson said: “We appreciate everything that local government workers have been doing, and continue to do, to support people and communities during the pandemic and as we begin to recover.

“We continue with on-going constructive negotiations.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Discussions within the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (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, and for teaching unions to consider and respond to that.

“We will continue to play our part, positively and constructively, in these on-going discussions. We hope that a pay deal for teachers can be agreed soon.”

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