The national Council of the EIS has given its approval to open a statutory strike ballot over pay. Formal notice of the planned ballot will be issued to local authority employers next week, with ballot papers to be issued later this month.

Earlier this week, teaching unions rejected the latest revised offer, dated January 7th, from COSLA and the Scottish Government. Yesterday, the EIS Executive Committee unanimously recommended a move to a statutory strike ballot. Today, at a specially convened meeting, the EIS Council gave final approval for the opening of said statutory ballot.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "EIS Council has today approved the opening of a statutory strike ballot over pay. We have been negotiating for a year, on a pay claim that was due to be settled last April."

"Teachers' patience is now exhausted. Our preference has always been to agree a fair deal through negotiation, but we have been very clear, also, that we are prepared to take strike action should this be necessary to achieve an acceptable settlement."

He added, "Ballot papers will be issued later this month. Clearly, once the actual ballot is underway negotiations are suspended but prior to that we remain prepared to consider any improved pay offer. No offer has been forthcoming from our local authority employers, however."

"Teachers have demonstrated time and time again their support for our Value Education Value Teachers campaign, which is about more than just pay. I'm confident that will continue to be the case."