New Year's Resolution for Scottish Government and COSLA: Pay Scotland's Teachers Fairly

Created on: 23 Dec 2022 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023

The EIS has said that the New Year’s resolution for both the Scottish Government and COSLA must be to pay Scotland’s teachers fairly by coming back with a greatly improved pay offer.

Scotland’s teachers have not received a pay rise for the year 2022, despite being due for a pay increase in April.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said, "As 2022 comes to a close, Scotland’s teachers are still waiting for a pay settlement that should have been paid to them in April. What Scotland's teachers have been offered by the Scottish Government and COSLA amounts to a record real-terms pay cut of up to 11% in a single year.

"This is in the context of the value of teachers’ pay dropping by a massive 20% since 2008. It is little wonder that teachers voted so overwhelmingly for strike action, and remain determined to stand firm against the unprecedented pay cuts that have been offered."

Ms Bradley continued, "Having taken one day of strike action in November, EIS members will resume a programme of strike action in the New Year. We have offered every opportunity to the Scottish Government and COSLA to settle this dispute, but they have stubbornly failed to take advantage of those opportunities.

"Reheating old offers and repeating tired spin is not going to fool Scotland’s teachers, and it is not going to resolve this dispute or end the ongoing programme of strike action. Neither teachers nor the public believe the claims that Scottish teachers are better paid than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK and internationally - in England the top of the pay scale is higher than in Scotland, and 14 OECD countries sit above Scotland on the league table of teachers' pay.

"The only OECD league table on teachers' conditions that Scotland has climbed is the one which quite shockingly shows that Scotland has the third worst record in the world when it comes to excessive class contact hours.

"Rather than Scottish Government spin, only a substantially improved, fair and credible offer can end this dispute and let teachers focus fully on teaching young people rather than having to fight for a fair wage."

Ms Bradley added, "The Scottish Government and COSLA must do better. They owe it to Scotland’s teachers - the majority of them women - and Scotland’s pupils to end this dispute by committing to pay Scotland’s teachers a fair pay increase. This is about pay justice and gender pay justice.

"Teachers worked tirelessly as key workers throughout the pandemic, often putting their own health at risk to ensure the best possible education for Scotland’s young people amidst very difficult circumstances. Now, in the early stages of education recovery, teachers want to be in the classroom supporting pupils. But, as the cost-of-living soars, teachers deserve and expect an appropriate increase in their pay – not a deep real-terms pay cut, as they have consistently been offered.

"Education must be a top priority for government and for local authorities, and that means investing in Education, including investing in teachers, to ensure the best possible educational experience for all of Scotland’s young people.

"Scotland has a stated commitment to reducing the gender pay gap and to being a Fair Work nation by 2025. Having made these commitments and as the new year dawns, it has to be time for the Scottish Government and COSLA to resolve to offer a fair pay settlement to all of Scotland’s teachers."

Audio clip