Created on: 12 Nov 2021 | Last modified: 12 Nov 2021
The latest 'improved' pay offer to Scotland’s teachers has been unanimously rejected by the EIS Salaries Committee and, subsequently, by teachers’ representatives at today’s meeting of the Teachers’ Panel of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers).
The offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) offers the same 1.22% pay award – already previously rejected by teaching unions – together with a meagre additional one-off payment. This has now been unanimously rejected by both the EIS Salaries Committee and the Teachers’ side of the SNCT.
Teaching unions tabled a salary claim for 2021-2022 almost a year ago, calling for a pay award of between 3%-5% for Scotland’s teachers. The pay award was due to be settled over 7 months ago and, with inflation climbing at an alarming rate, the delay in settling the claim is further diminishing the value of the employers’ offer with each passing day.
Commenting, Des Morris, EIS Salaries Convener and Chair of the Teachers’ Side of the SNCT said, "The latest revised offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA is derisory. With inflation currently running at around 4% we have already made very clear to the employers’ side that we will not accept an offer of 1.22% for our members."
"For COSLA and the Scottish Government to then take weeks to come back with essentially the same offer, with some minor cosmetic window-dressing added, is an insult to the professionalism and hard-work of every teacher in Scotland."
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan added, "It is simply beyond belief that the employers have come back again with this paltry offer to Scotland’s teaching professionals. After many months of talking up the value of education and the value of teachers to the nation’s recovery from the pandemic, COSLA and the Scottish Government then turn around and offer a real-terms pay cut to Scotland’s teachers."
"Months of dragging their feet has only served to further erode the value of an already pitiful offer, while also hardening the resolve of increasingly scunnered teachers to see their efforts appropriately acknowledged in their pay settlement."
The national EIS Council, which meets next week, will now consider the next steps to be taken in pursuit of a fair pay settlement for Scotland’s teachers. While the preference of the EIS is always for a negotiated settlement, a growing clamour amongst members for a move to industrial action in pursuit of a fair pay award is sure to be a major consideration as EIS Council decides its next steps.