Union threatens industrial action over teacher pay

Failure to make ‘substantially improved' pay offer before 30 September will lead to ‘declaration of dispute’, warns union

Emma Seith

Union threat of industrial action over teacher pay in Scotland

Scottish teaching unions submitted a pay claim of between 3 and 5 per cent in December – but nine months on, there has been no change in the "completely inadequate" offer from councils.

Now a union is saying that failure to make a "substantially improved offer" before 30 September will lead to "declaration of a dispute".

The current offer – first made in March – would amount to a pay rise of 1 per cent for the majority of teachers, with councils offering 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.

Related: Scottish teacher pay offer ‘completely inadequate’

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Background: How much are teachers paid in Scotland?

The last deal: New three-year pay deal agreed for teachers in Scotland

Now the EIS, Scotland’s biggest teaching union, is saying that unless it receives “a substantially improved offer” before the next meeting for talks on 30 September, there will be a “declaration of a dispute”.

However, the EIS is also reporting that, although local authorities are currently unable to make an improved offer, they “hoped to be in a position to do so soon”.

Threat of industrial action over teacher pay

The NASUWT teaching union has said that the next meeting of council bosses is due to take place on 24 September and it does not anticipate further progress until after that date.

The NASUWT said: “No option has been discounted to obtain a fair pay award for members.”

The EIS said: “The teachers' side made clear the frustration of members over the continued failure of their employers to make a reasonable pay offer and indicated that failure to make a substantially improved offer before the next SNCT [Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers] meeting on 30 September would lead to declaration of a dispute.”

The EIS has highlighted the difference between the pay offers made to teachers and to NHS workers, describing it as “glaring”.

EIS salaries convener Des Morris said in April that 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”.

The last time Scottish teachers struck a pay deal was in April 2019, which resulted in a 13.51 per cent increase over three years, with a backdated 3 per cent pay increase from April 2018, a 7 per cent rise in April 2019, and a final 3 per cent pay increase from April 2020.

That deal was reached following 12 months of negotiations and threats of strike action.

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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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