Scottish teacher pay offer ‘completely inadequate’

The deal would result in a 1 per cent pay settlement ‘for the majority of teachers’, says EIS teaching union

Emma Seith

Scottish teacher pay offer ‘completely inadequate’

The pay offer made to Scottish teachers is “completely inadequate” and “fails to recognise the value of teachers to Scotland”, says Scotland’s largest teaching union.

According to the EIS, the offer from local authorities’ body Cosla “averages a little over 1 per cent”.

EIS salaries convener Des Morris said the difference between the offer made to teachers and NHS workers was “glaring”.


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He said NHS staff were “absolutely deserving of a fair pay settlement” – but he added that Scotland’s teachers and other public sector workers “also deserve to have their vital contributions property recognised”.

NHS staff in Scotland – including nurses, paramedics and domestic staff – have been offered a pay rise of at least 4 per cent.

Mr Morris said: “The value of Scotland’s teachers has been clearly highlighted throughout the current pandemic, where teachers have worked extremely hard to support young people in quite unprecedented and extremely challenging circumstances. The level of public and political praise for teachers has been extremely high during this time, with frequent statements highlighting the value of teachers to the country throughout lockdown and the essential role that education will play in supporting the national recovery from the Covid pandemic. In this context, the pay offer that has been made to teachers – which would represent a real-terms pay cut for the majority of teachers – is completely inadequate.”

Mr Morris said that, in December, teachers had submitted “a very measured claim” for a pay settlement of between 3 and 5 per cent for Scotland’s teachers.

He added: “Now, more than three months later, we are looking at an offer from employers for a 1 per cent pay settlement for the majority of teachers. This sub-inflation-level pay offer would result in an effective pay cut for Scotland’s teachers – hardly an appropriate recognition of the important role that teachers have played throughout the pandemic and the vital role they will play in the national recovery from Covid. The offer is also divisive, offering different pay settlements for teachers based on their grade of post – something that the EIS will never accept.”

The offer from councils is a 2 per cent uplift for those earning up to £40,000 and a 1 per cent rise for those earning more than £40,000, with a cap of £800.

Mr Morris concluded: “The difference between the offer made to Scotland’s teachers and that made recently to the country’s NHS workers is glaring. Our NHS colleagues are absolutely deserving of a fair pay settlement that properly recognises the vital work that they do – but Scotland’s teachers and, indeed, other public sector workers also deserve to have their vital contributions property recognised. The pay offer that has been made to Scotland’s teachers is inadequate and divisive, and therefore completely unacceptable.”

A Cosla spokesman said:  “We have made an offer to our trade union colleagues.  This offer remains on the table whilst we continue with on-going constructive negotiations.”

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Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for TES Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

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