1. Austerity is punishing teachers and damaging education.
Teachers’ pay has declined (in real terms) by at least 20% (RPI) over the past decade, whilst workload has soared.
2. Teachers' take-home pay has declined by 24% since 2009.
Changes to pensions and national insurance, combined with sub-inflation pay settlements, have led to cuts of around 24% in teachers’ take-home pay since 2009. Why punish teachers for the mistakes of the banks?
3. Teacher recruitment is facing a crisis.
Teacher recruitment is facing a crisis. Schools across Scotland are struggling to recruit teachers – not just in remote areas but also in major cities and in core subjects. Improving pay will attract more people into teaching.
4. Scotland's teachers have delivered.
Despite cuts in teacher numbers and resources, teachers have gone the extra mile to protect pupils at a time of significant curricular change and new qualifications. Workload and stress have soared – whilst pay has been declining. Teachers are delivering more, for less.
5. 40% of Scotland's teachers are considering leaving the profession.
Pay is critical to the retention of teachers. 40% of Scotland’s teachers are considering leaving the profession (source: Bath Spa University research) This year has seen a surge in teachers over 45 leaving early. Who will replace them? Pay professional salaries to retain professional teachers.
6. Scotland lags behind the OECD average for teacher pay.
Teacher pay has risen, in real terms, in most other European countries over the last 10 years (source: OECD). Why is Scotland cutting pay, while other countries pay more?
7. Austerity isn't working.
Bailing out banks and cutting teacher pay were political choices – they were not inevitable. Why punish teachers while protecting bankers?
8. Equal pay for equal work!
Scotland’s college lecturers recently secured a new pay structure, with a top of the scale salary of more than £40k for classroom lecturers – our teachers deserve nothing less. Pay professional salaries to our teachers.
9. Investing in teachers is investing in our young people.
Education needs investment. Austerity is having a serious impact on young people’s education. Experienced teachers are leaving, and student teacher places are going unfilled – leading to teacher shortages.
10. Quality public services need proper funding.
If Scotland wishes to have a world class education system, it needs to fund the service fully and to invest in teachers. It is teachers, not politicians, who make the difference in the classroom.
For all of these reasons, and more, Scotland’s teachers deserve a pay rise!