New three-year pay deal agreed for teachers in Scotland

Deal reached after 12 months of negotiations and threats of landmark strike action

Tes Reporter

New three-year pay deal agreed for teachers in Scotland

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) has today formally reached an agreement on a new pay deal for Scotland’s teachers and associated professionals, amounting to a total increase of 13.51 per cent over three years.

The deal follows more than 12 months of negotiations, and all sides of the SNCT (teaching unions, local government and Scottish government) say they are "pleased that a final agreement has now been reached".

All agreed that the pay rises would be implemented “as soon as is practicable”.

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Agreement has been reached on:


  • A 3 per cent pay rise for all teachers and associated professionals earning less than £80,000, effective from 1 April 2018 (backdated). For those earning more than £80,000, a flat-rate increase of £1,600 will apply.
  • A further uplift of 3 per cent from 1 April 2019 (backdated until that date) for all teachers and associated professionals (no cap).
  • An additional 4 per cent increase, as the result of a Scottish government policy intervention, to restructure the main-grade pay scale and all other pay points. This increase to be effective from 1 April 2019 and backdated until that date (no cap).
  • A further uplift of 3 per cent from April 2020 across all pay scales and pay points (no cap).


  • “The SNCT acknowledges and approves the offers made by the Scottish government for all parties to work together to reduce the workload of teachers and to undertake joint activity to assist in reducing and preventing unnecessary workload through increasing teacher agency and school empowerment.”

Additional in-service days

  • “The SNCT agrees that two additional in-service days, to be held in the academic year 2019-20, should be provided to allow schools time to focus on key issues, such as workload, additional support and empowering schools.”

John Swinney, deputy first minister and education secretary, said: “The formal agreement of this deal will deliver the fair pay rise that teachers deserve and I am pleased that all parties have managed to reach a consensus.

“This is a welcome outcome, which reflects the partnership approach we want to take with local government and the professional associations, providing certainty on pay, a shared agenda on addressing workload, additional support for learning and empowering schools.

“Reform is at the heart of our plans to improve Scottish education and this landmark partnership agreement will provide the stability we need to deliver the best possible outcomes for our young people.”

Gail Macgregor, chair of the employers’ side of the SNCT, said: “I am pleased that we have today agreed a three-year pay deal for teachers. Building on the stability that this deal provides, we will work with our colleagues in the SNCT to address some of the other issues raised in the negotiations, as we continue to put children and young people at the heart of Scottish education.”

EIS union salaries convener Des Morris, also chair for the SNCT teachers' side, said: “We very much welcome the fact that, after protracted negotiations, a formal pay agreement has now been reached via the SNCT.

“The three-year pay settlement that has been agreed will provide a long-overdue boost to teachers’ salaries, and help to address concerns over teacher recruitment and retention.

"We also welcome the additional joint commitments in the agreement to support teacher professional development and reduce workload through increasing teacher agency and school empowerment.”

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