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Pay deal reached for Scottish teachers

Scottish teachers will receive a 2 per cent rise from January and have been given a commitment that there will be a review of pay and promotion routes

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Scottish teachers will receive a 2 per cent rise from January and have been given a commitment that there will be a review of pay and promotion routes

Scottish teachers are set to receive a staggered 2 per cent pay rise, it has been announced.

The Scottish government, teaching unions and councils have also said that there will be a review of teachers' pay and promotion routes and that supply teachers' pay will be restored in the new year.

Supply teachers’ pay has been a contentious issue since a deal in 2011 tied cover staff to a significantly lower daily rate unless they worked for more than five consecutive days – later reduced to more than two days. The 2011 deal has been blamed, in part at least, for the shortage of cover staff plaguing schools.

Tes Scotland revealed last month that teaching unions were demanding a 1 per cent rise backdated to April and a further 1 per cent rise from January 1

The unions also said they were looking for a commitment from the government and councils to review the career structure in schools, so that classroom teachers do not have to move into management in order to advance. 

That deal has now been agreed after a commitment from the Scottish government that it would help councils fund it.

Threat of strike action

However, the unions have consistently warned that next year they will lobby for an above-inflation pay rise and that industrial action remains a distinct possibility.

Education secretary John Swinney said: “We recognise that teachers are the most important in-school factor in a child’s educational attainment – having the right number of teachers in schools, with the right skills, is vital to delivering our aims of excellence and equity in Scottish schools.

“Reaching agreement on this pay deal demonstrates the benefit of government, employers and unions working together through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers.

“As announced in the draft budget, we will provide an additional £24 million through the local government settlement to make this deal happen, alongside continued funding of £88 million so every school can access the right number of teachers.”

Helen Connor, salaries convener for the EIS teaching union and the chair for the teachers' side of the negotiations, said: “Teachers will welcome that agreement has now been reached on a backdated pay settlement for 2017, and that all pay scales will increase by a total of 2 per cent from January. It has been a lengthy process to secure this agreement, and work has already begun towards the 2018 pay claim, which is scheduled to be settled by April.”

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