Today, a meeting of the Executive Committee decided that a consultative ballot on pay will be opened.
As you may know, the EIS has submitted a joint pay claim with the other teacher trade unions within the Teachers’ Panel of the SNCT for 10% for 2022-23.
On 17 August the ONS (Office for National Statistics) published an RPI inflation figure of 12.3% and the government’s preferred measure of inflation, CPI, an inflation figure of 10.1%. Also, on August 17th, COSLA made an improved pay offer to teachers of 3.5% (from the 2% offer that was rejected in May). An identical offer was made to other local authority staff.
The EIS responded at a meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs the following day by stating that the offer was deeply disappointing, and indicated the likelihood of a recommendation to reject being put to members in a consultative ballot, together with an additional question asking if members supported strike action in pursuit of an improved pay offer.
COSLA did not wait for the EIS to put the offer to our members (and surely reject it) and wrote to the Teachers' Side on August 19th, to indicate that it wished to improve its pay offer to 5%.
The EIS Salaries Committee decided last week to put the offer to members in a consultative ballot, with a recommendation to reject the offer. The Salaries Committee also decided to request the Executive Committee (which oversees all industrial action) to ask members if they are willing to take industrial action (specifically strike action) in pursuit of an improved offer as a second question in the consultative ballot.
The Executive Committee approved this request earlier today and in the next few hours you will receive a digital voting email for an EIS consultative ballot with the following questions:
- Do you reject COSLA’s latest pay offer of 5%?
- Are you willing to take industrial action consisting of strike action in pursuit of our pay claim?
The EIS is recommending you to VOTE: YES YES in this consultative ballot.
Consultative ballots are collective actions where we seek to maximise member engagement and electoral turnout. It is an illustration of member voice and democracy in action and can be powerful leverage in getting government and employers to do better in terms of the pay offers that they make.