Teachers in Scotland reject ‘derisory’ pay deal

EIS teaching union warns that pay offer failed to redress 'the decade of detriment to teachers' pay'

Henry Hepburn

Teachers in Scotland reject ‘derisory’ pay deal

A new pay offer for Scotland’s teachers has been rejected and dismissed as “derisory”, with negotiators for the profession insisting that all teachers should receive a 10 per cent pay rise.

Negotiators met today with local authorities' body Cosla and the Scottish government and rejected the latest pay offer from Cosla of a 3 per cent rise for all teachers and associated professionals. The deal could have amounted to rises of 5-11 per cent for some teachers once changes to the salary scale were factored in

The EIS teaching union said: “It was made clear by the teachers’ side that this was a derisory offer and that it failed to redress the decade of detriment to teachers’ pay. It was also made clear that whilst changes to the main-grade scale would be welcomed, recruitment and retention of all teachers needed to be improved and all should receive a 10 per cent pay rise, in addition to any other changes.”

Negotiations will now continue, with a further meeting arranged for 4 October. The EIS union has previously warned that strike action may ultimately be necessary.

'Divisive' teacher pay offer

Meanwhile, the national bodies for both primary and secondary headteachers attacked the new pay offer as “cynical” and “divisive”, saying it would undermine attempts to solve Scotland’s school leadership recruitment crisis.

The pay offer could have meant a rise of up to 10 per cent for classroom teachers at the top and bottom of the pay scale, but amounted to only 3 per cent for depute heads and headteachers.

Headteachers in charge of the largest secondary schools in Scotland can earn up to £88,056, but the other end of the scale is just £45,111. The row over pay comes as the Scottish government prepares to release a “charter” which would devolve more power to heads. is seeking to give more responsibility to heads through a new Headteachers’ Charter.

Greg Dempster, general secretary of primary school leaders’ body AHDS, and Jim Thewliss, general secretary of secondary body School Leaders Scotland, said in a joint statement: “School leaders will be very disappointed with the proposal which seeks, one might say cynically, to offer around 10 per cent to some classroom teachers in an effort to appease those campaigning for a restorative pay award.

“While that will be very welcome for a significant part of the teaching workforce, it is by its very nature divisive, would not benefit all classroom teachers and fails to take account of those in leadership posts.”

The statement added: “The question we must ask is whether this offer, which signals that councils value school leaders less than others, is likely to address the ongoing recruitment problems – the answer is an unequivocal ‘no’.”

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Teachers’ pay is a matter for the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers and negotiations for 2018-19 are continuing.”

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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