As you may be aware, the EIS Salaries Committee met this morning to consider a revised pay offer that was sent to the EIS after 9pm last night, after details of it had been leaked to the BBC and other media outlets.
The offer was for:
- 6% for 2022-23
- 5.5% for 2023-24
- Capped at £80,000
The Salaries Committee voted unanimously to reject the offer and overwhelmingly voted that the offer should not be put to members, in short, because:
- The value of the offer for 2022-23 is insufficient. RPI inflation was published today and remains at 13.4%. CPI inflation sits today at 10.1%. A 6% pay uplift is only 1% less of a pay cut than the 5% rejected overwhelmingly in 2 ballots and less than the saving that has been made on the wage bill by teachers taking three days of strike action.
- The Teachers' Pay Claim for 2023-24 has not even been submitted. It is due next week. The 2023-24 component of the offer has not been the subject of any negotiations at all – it has appeared out of thin air. The Scottish Government claimed to have more financial leeway for the next financial year but hasn't used it. Furthermore, the 5.5% uplift offered is less than offered for 2022-23 and would simply deepen the real terms pay cut over the period.
- Proper negotiation mechanisms have been completely side-lined as the Scottish Government and COSLA have sought to negotiate through the media rather than with teacher trade union representatives. The Scottish Government claims that 5.5% will be paid to other sections of the local government workforce. This is yet further flouting of negotiating mechanisms in favour of the One Workforce 'pay suppression for all' agenda in which both COSLA and the Scottish Government are complicit.
- It is a differentiated offer, which the EIS and the other teacher unions have stipulated to be a red line.
- The offer was not badged as full and final. Scottish Government has specifically stopped short of stating that there is no further money that could be channelled into a settlement. We believe there is a better deal to be gained.
- All in all, the package has been put together as a red herring- a distraction- to try to avert the strike action due to take place in target constituencies next week. This tells us that the threat of this action is working.
The Salaries Committee is made up of serving teachers, like me. This was a straight forward decision for us this morning, and having attended the EIS Executive Committee afterwards, I know it has been supported there.
I would like to stress that the strike action is working – albeit slowly. The Scottish Government's mantra that there was no additional funding available for 2022-23 has been destroyed. We know the Scottish Government has even greater funding flexibility in 2023-24, and we will seek to use these facts to ensure a fair pay rise for teachers.
In summary, the EIS will reject the offer and will seek further negotiation through the proper channels of the SNCT with the aim of leveraging a better deal that members can meaningfully be consulted upon.