Pay to 'dominate' union's annual gathering

Conference details published today reveal depth of feeling around teacher salaries in Scotland

Pay to 'dominate' union's annual gathering

Concerns around pay are expected to dominate the annual meeting of Scotland’s biggest teaching union next week.

This year’s EIS event, which starts in Dundee next Thursday, comes as the union campaigns for a 10 per cent pay rise for all teachers.

While 86 motions feature in the AGM papers published today, concerns about salaries will feature regularly and there will also be a demonstration in Dundee city centre a week tomorrow, as the AGM draws to a close.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Following more than a decade of austerity and real-terms pay cuts totalling more the 20 per cent, teachers have simply had enough and are not prepared to accept it anymore.”

He added that a uniform 10 per cent pay rise would start “to address the teacher recruitment and retention problems facing schools across Scotland”.

In January, the EIS warned that Scotland’s first national teacher-led strikes since the 1980s could take place in 2018 unless pay was “substantially improved”, and has pointed to a real-terms drop in pay of 25 per cent over a decade in a period when some countries have increased teacher salaries.

In March, unions rejected a pay rise of up to 3 per cent for teachers.

Teacher pay disputes in Scotland are resolved through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), which comprises national and local government and education unions.

A Scottish government spokesman said it had provided “£112 million this year to fund councils to maintain teacher numbers, including the recent teacher pay award”.

He added: “Our ambitious reform programme, together with the recent announcement of bursaries of £20,000 for career changers to train in priority subjects, are focused to ensure teaching remains an attractive career.

“Teachers’ pay is a matter for the SNCT and negotiations for 2018-19 are underway. The Scottish government will play its part in those discussions, and we urge everyone around the table to take a constructive approach.”

The spokesman said: “It should be noted this government was the first in the UK to commit to lift the 1 per cent public-sector pay cap.”

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