Offer boosts rate for supply teaching

6th September 2013 at 01:00
Deal would cut threshold for full pay from five days' work to three

The controversial practice of requiring supply teachers to work for five consecutive days before they receive full pay may soon be scrapped - although they would still have to work for three days at a lower rate.

As part of the same deal, a 1 per cent pay rise is to be applied across the profession this year, backdated to 1 April, with the same rise taking place in 2014-15.

The EIS teaching union said that the new, final offer from local authorities body Cosla represents "substantial progress" on conditions for short-term supply teachers, who would also see their pay rise by 10 per cent to around pound;86 a day for the first three days of work.

The offer will go ahead if agreement is reached on separate changes related to the 2011 McCormac report on pay and conditions. The EIS will now ballot its members on those changes, which give local authorities greater flexibility over working hours. Details of the ballot will be discussed by the union's executive committee today.

"After much hard negotiation, a final offer has been received that represents a significant improvement on the short-term supply issue without impacting on the 1 per cent pay offer to all employees that was previously announced by Cosla," EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said.

"A pay offer of 1 per cent this year and 1 per cent for next year may well be all that can be achieved through negotiation in the current climate," he added. "But the EIS is clear that this will not reverse the real-term decline in teachers' pay, and at some point action will need to be taken to ensure that teaching remains an attractive profession for young graduates to join."

The five-day threshold was introduced in 2011, as the Scottish government and Cosla attempted to save councils pound;45 million.

There was widespread anger within the EIS after the union backed the move, which led to supply teachers working at pound;78 a day for five days in a row before their pay rose to pound;145. The lower rate has been widely blamed for severe shortages of supply staff in parts of Scotland.

One secondary supply teacher from the east of Scotland, who asked not to be named, told TESS this week: "If you want people who are highly motivated and highly qualified to do the job, you will pay them properly from Day 1 - I will not go into any school for the lower rate."

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