Teachers’ pay demand gets short shrift from Mackay

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has dealt a blow to Scottish teachers’ hopes of winning an inflation-busting 10 per cent pay rise, insisting that the profession has been made a “fair and affordable” offer. The Scotsman reports.

Thousands of teachers from across the country staged a rally in Glasgow at the weekend, but Mr Mackay insists that he can’t agree to a deal which could jeopardise spending on other public services.

Employers, including local councils, have tabled a “final” offer of 3 per cent for all but the most highly-paid teachers, with some grades receiving bigger rises.

“We’ve set out a proposal to teachers as part of the tripartite negotiations,” Mr Mackay told BBC Politics Scotland yesterday. “I think it fits with the deals that we’ve come to so far, stepping away from the pay cut – the 1 per cent pay cut – and I think it’s fair and affordable to ensure we can keep investing in our public services.

“I recognise the pay restraint that people have endured but we have to give a pay settlement that’s also affordable so we can protect our public services and properly remunerate all our public servants.”

Education Secretary John Swinney has described the offer as generous and fair.

But the EIS has hit out at the approach of the employers and recommended that its members reject the 3 per cent proposal in a ballot which is due to open this week.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said at the weekend: “Those who want to split the unions – think again, public sector trade union solidarity is a given. Our pay claim is for 10 per cent – given that the value of take-home pay has dropped by 24 per cent in the last decade, that claim is already a compromise on what we deserve.”

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