Created on: 15 Feb 2023 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023
Following the eventual receipt of a revised offer on teachers’ pay late yesterday evening, special meetings of the EIS Salaries Committee and Executive Committee will be held to discuss a response to the expected offer and any potential implications for the ongoing programme of strike action in schools which is currently scheduled to continue next week.
The revised offer did not emerge from discussions within the agreed negotiating forum in the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), but has instead been drafted by the Scottish Government and COSLA outwith the SNCT.
News of the offer first emerged in the media late last week, prior to any notification or details of the proposed revised offer being shared with teacher trade unions.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "It is unacceptable that details of the revised offer were shared with the media before the offer had been made to teaching unions.
"We eventually received the offer after 9pm on Tuesday, well after the detail of the offer had been reported in the media. It will now be for the EIS Salaries Committee to discuss the terms of that offer and to adopt a position in relation to it.
"In doing so, the Salaries Committee will consider the revisions to the offer in the context of the current cost of living crisis, the continuing extremely high level of inflation which currently sits at almost 13.5% on the RPI scale, and the sharp real-terms decline in the value of teacher pay since 2008."
Following the decision of the Salaries Committee, if required, the EIS Executive Committee will consider any impact of that decision on the ongoing programme of industrial action in Scotland’s schools.
This programme of action is currently set to continue next week, with targeted strikes in the constituencies of the First Minister, Deputy First Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Education Spokesperson of the Scottish Greens.
Ms Bradley continued, "It is regrettable that the details of the revised offer were shared with the media together with snippets of the accompanying narrative before teaching unions had actually received the offer.
"The appropriate place for negotiations to take place, and for proposals to be presented and discussed, is within the SNCT as the agreed negotiating forum for teachers' pay. It is through the SNCT, not through the media, that an agreement on teacher pay must be struck."
Ms Bradley added, "As bodies with stated commitments to sectoral collective bargaining and the principles of Fair Work, it is unfortunate that both the Scottish Government and COSLA have repeatedly sought to stage discussions outwith the agreed negotiating forum of the SNCT and to create artificial links between negotiations on teachers' pay and negotiations with other groups of workers.
"If the Scottish Government and COSLA are truly committed to sectoral collective bargaining, as they say they are, then they must respect the agreed appropriate negotiating processes both for teachers and for other public sector workers."