Members of two of Scotland’s biggest teaching unions have overwhelmingly rejected a “final” pay offer. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) warned of industrial action if the offer was not improved. The BBC reports.
The government and councils had offered a headline 3% rise, with bigger increases for staff on lower grades. Council body Cosla said the unions’ demand for a 10% increase could not be met in a single year.
Education Secretary John Swinney said he was disappointed by the rejection of a “strong and fair” offer.
The teaching unions claim the real value of teachers’ pay has fallen by 20% over the past decade, and a big rise is needed to boost recruitment and retention of staff.
The education secretary has said the current offer would give the majority of staff a rise of between 5% and 11% once restructuring and pay progression were factored in.
The EIS said 98% of members who voted rejected the offer, with a turnout of 74%. In the SSTA ballot, 97% rejected the deal, on a 73% turnout.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Today’s near unanimous rejection of the pay offer is a landmark result, one of the strongest rejections of an offer in EIS history, and one which is indicative of the current mood of Scotland’s teachers, increasingly agitated on pay but angry also at excessive workload, mainstreaming on the cheap, and austerity driven cuts to resources.”
A third teaching union, the NASUWT, said survey of more than 1,000 of its members suggested more than half were willing to take industrial action in support of the claim.
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