Teachers' pay in Scotland lagging behind many worldwide '“ OECD

Scotland's teachers have seen salaries drop by six per cent in a decade while their counterparts in many other countries received pay rises, an international study says.

A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has confirmed teachers’ salaries in both Scotland and England fell in real terms between 2005-2015.

The report Education at a Glance 2017 also highlights teachers’ salaries are lower on average than the earning of other tertiary educated workers.

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Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS teaching union, said pay levels had contributed to problems within the sector.

“Clearly, the government can no longer claim cuts to teachers’ pay were an inevitable result of the global economic crisis. It was a political choice to cut teachers’ pay and it is a decision that has contributed to the growing recruitment challenge and teacher shortages in many parts of the country.”

In Scotland, teachers have not yet received a pay settlement for 2017-2018, and discussions are continuing via the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

“We have already rejected a 1 per cent pay offer from employers for this year, and we welcome the recent commitment from the Scottish Government to remove the damaging pay-cap on public sector employees in the next financial year.”

Tavish Scott MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman, called for an independent “root and branch” review of teachers’ pay and responsibilities.

“Anyone reading this report will be unsurprised to hear Scottish schools are contending with well over 500 teaching vacancies.

“Alongside lifting the public sector pay cap, ministers must commission an independent root and branch review of teachers’ terms and conditions and the demands placed upon them to ensure that we have a system that is fit for purpose – a new agreement on teachers salaries – McCrone2.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Overall, the OECD report shows Scottish teachers’ salaries remain competitive with other countries. We continue to work with teachers’ representatives, local authorities and other partners to ensure teachers are well rewarded for the excellent work they do.

“The Programme for Government sets out our commitment to remove the 1 per cent pay cap from 2018-19.””