Our Consultative Ballot on the 5% pay offer and members’ willingness to take strike action in pursuit of our pay claim closes at noon this Friday.
Many EIS members only accepted last year’s modest pay uplift because the EIS undertook to make a significant pay claim this year. During 2021-22, RPI inflation rose steadily, and teachers cannot afford to accept another real-terms pay cut. Any percentage point of pay compromised will be a further cut to living standards this year and make next year’s pay claim larger and more difficult to realise.
There is never an easy time to strike for pay, and there is often a temptation to defer a fight over pay to the following year. The EIS is clear that a line in the sand must be drawn this year, before pay, living costs and inflation get worse – thereby putting public finances in a bad position next year.
Many of us have already felt the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and may need no reminder as to why our pay claim is a 10% pay uplift across all pay points for 2022-23. However, in recommending members to vote for strike action in pursuit of this pay claim – it is important that you know all the Institute’s reasoning:
- All teachers are experiencing the cost-of-living crisis. All teachers’ pay needs to increase by 10% to protect them against the cost-of-living crisis.
- This cost-of-living crisis was not caused by teachers, so they should not be expected to shoulder the burden of it. The crisis is forecasted to get worse, with energy costs and inflation to rise further.
- The Scottish Government and COSLA can afford the pay rise. The Scottish Government and COSLA agreed to support the staff unions’ pay claims, giving some staff up to 11% pay uplifts.
- Teachers work extremely hard with an ever-increasing workload – their pay needs to reflect this increasing work – not fall relative to it.
- Teachers’ pay decline (in real terms) is impacting teachers relative to other graduate professions and contributing to the overall gender pay gap (as most teachers are women), which the Scottish Government has made a commitment to ending.
- Teachers’ pay needs to attract and retain high-quality graduates to allow schools to continue to provide high-quality education.
We, teachers, have the power to protect our pay and to pursue our pay claim to success. We need to use that power.