Scottish Government Spin on Pay isn't Fooling Scotland's Teachers

Created on: 12 Dec 2022 | Last modified: 23 Feb 2023

The General Secretary of the EIS, has responded to comments made today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the latest 5.07% pay offer to Scotland's teachers.

The 5.07% average pay offer, which was unanimously rejected by Scotland’s teaching unions two weeks ago, was far short of the current rate of inflation (11% CPI, 14% RPI) and would have meant a steep real-terms pay cut for Scotland’s teaching professionals.

Responding to the First Minister’s comments, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "In an environment where inflation is sitting at 14% on the RPI scale in a single year, a cumulative 20% pay increase over the past five years is hardly something to be proud of.

"For example, the inflation rate of 14% this year more than wipes out the 13.51% increase that teachers received over three years in 2018-2020.  The OECD figures that the First Minister cites also confirm that Scotland’s teachers are paid significantly less at the top of the pay scale than the OECD average, and far less than the top of the scale in many countries."

Ms Bradley continued, "It is also disingenuous to claim that the offer to teachers amounts to the same percentage increase as that accepted by other groups of workers. Quite apart from the fact that our pay is negotiated separately, to take account of different recruitment challenges, the offer accepted by other local authority workers, including school support staff, had an average value of 7.5%.

"The latest offer to teachers averages 5.07%, scarcely an improvement on the previous offer of 5%, and does not include the extra day's holiday or payment of professional body fees that the other settlement does."

Ms Bradley added, "The 'revised' offer, which was unanimously rejected by all Scottish teaching unions, included just an extra 71p per week, per teacher, compared to the previous offer.  The vast majority of teachers were actually being offered practically the same or even less in the 'revised' offer, despite the Scottish Government claim that the offer was an improvement.

"Scotland's teachers aren't fooled by Scottish Government spin, and will not accept the deep real-terms pay cuts that the Scottish Government and COSLA continue to espouse."