Created on: 27 Jan 2023 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023
The national Council of the EIS has lauded Scotland’s teachers for their ongoing programme of strike action in pursuit of an improved pay deal from the Scottish Government and COSLA.
The meeting of EIS Council, comprised of teacher representatives from across Scotland, also condemned the Scottish Government and COSLA for their continuing pretence that "meaningful" and "constructive" talks have been ongoing on teacher pay.
EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "Scotland's teachers have responded magnificently in recent weeks, supporting ongoing strike action in their tens of thousands right across the country. On strike days, schools have closed and the streets have been ablaze with the bright green and pink EIS pay campaign colours, with teachers on the picket lines and attending demonstrations and rallies right across Scotland.
"Teachers do not want to be there, and would much rather be in class working to support young people’s education – but, having been compelled to take strike action by the inaction of the Scottish Government and COSLA on pay, Scotland’s teachers are not going to back down."
EIS Salaries Convener Des Morris said, "Both the Scottish Government and COSLA should be ashamed that their refusal to offer teachers a fair pay settlement has led to schools being closed. Instead of negotiating positively with unions to reach a fair agreement, the Scottish Government and COSLA have dug in their heels and refused to negotiate meaningfully at all.
"All their repeated talk of 'positive' and 'constructive' discussions doesn't reflect reality. They are attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of Scotland's pupils, parents and teachers – but we will not be easily fooled. Support for our strike action is growing across the country, and we are seeing more and more teachers on picket lines as they grow more angered by spin from the Scottish Government and COSLA."
EIS Vice-President Paula McEwan said, "While they claim a commitment to Fair Work and a desire to work constructively with unions, the actions of the Scottish Government and COSLA tell a different story.
"We have heard misleading comparisons to other groups of workers from the Cabinet Secretary and the First Minister, as they attempt to create divisions between school staff. We have also heard them misrepresenting the value of the offers made to other groups of workers, to try to force teachers to accept their sub-standard, sub-inflation offer.
"But we know and work with these other groups of workers in our schools every day – we know they did not accept an offer averaging 5.07%, and we know that Scotland's teachers aren't going to accept that either. The EIS Pay Attention campaign will most definitely continue until a genuinely fair settlement for Scotland’s teachers is won."
EIS members are currently engaged in a programme of 16-day rolling strike action across Scotland. Teachers in Falkirk and Renfrewshire are on strike today, with teachers in 10 more local authorities set to strike next week – starting with Aberdeenshire and the Scottish Borders on Monday.
Following the conclusion of the 16-days of rolling action, there will be two days of national strike action for all members on Tuesday 28th February and Wednesday 1 March. This will be followed by a further 20 days of rolling strike action between 13 March and 21 April 2023. Further info is available on our website.