The Educational Institute of Scotland, which leads the teachers' side, said 2 per cent would be unacceptable during informal "behind the chair" talks with the council leaders in the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee. The unions are looking for a straight cost-of-living increase without strings.
This year's negotiations are complicated by pressure on the councils from administrative, professional, technical and clerical staff to honour a 2.8 per cent deal recommended by unions south of the border.
Unions representing the 290,000 non-teaching employees are due to meet council negotiators on May 8 which could clear the decks for the SJNC to resume teachers' negotiations shortly thereafter.
The teaching unions, which have not yet put a figure on their claim, are anxious to secure a deal that is at least in line with the two-stage award in England and Wales which will raise salaries by 3.3 per cent by next April.