Pay talks between teachers and councils were adjourned on Tuesday with no offer from the management side. The unions are continuing to resist pressure from the authorities to give way on conditions in return for a more generous settlement than the 2 per cent councils say is all they can afford.
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.