A teaching union has rejected a ‘completely inadequate’ offer of a 2% pay rise for Scottish teachers.
The Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS) has instead called for the employers’ side to come back quickly with a significantly improved offer.
The EIS is asking for a 10% rise to recognise the work teachers have done throughout the pandemic and reflect the soaring inflation rate and cost of living crisis.
The teaching union asked local authority group COSLA to bring a new offer to the table before the next Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) meeting on 21 June.
Des Morris, EIS salaries convener and chair of the teachers’ side of the SNCT, said: “More than three months after the teachers’ pay claim for 2022-2023 was submitted, the employers’ side has finally come back with a completely inadequate pay offer which has now been summarily rejected by the teachers’ side.”
During the lead up to local elections earlier this month, candidates in Fife expressed concern that it was becoming increasingly hard to fill teaching vacancies, and expressed worries the situation could be exacerbated if teacher salaries do not improve.
Graeme Keir, an English teacher and rep for EIS Fife, said: “Like any employee, we’re disappointed in a below inflation pay rise.
“In effect we’ve been offered a pay cut which follows several years of the real value of teachers’ salaries declining.
“If we hope to address the real challenges in schools we need to do this by valuing the teaching profession and by prioritising recruitment and retention of staff.”
Preparations for an industrial action ballot
The EIS has signalled that it will not accept the same procrastination from the employers this year and it saw last year.
A pay settlement for the year 2021-2022 was finally delivered last month – more than a year late.
A pay settlement for the year 2022-2023 was due to be applied from April but COSLA only presented it’s first offer yesterday, during a pay review meeting with SNCT.
The EIS Council has already agreed to begin preparations for an industrial action ballot by October, should no pay agreement have been reached by that time.
Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS said: “The EIS has submitted a pay claim calling for a 10% salary increase for all of Scotland’s teachers this year.
“We are clear that this pay claim is essential to ensure that the value of teachers’ pay does not decline in the face of rising inflation whilst the cost-of-living crisis is rampaging on.
“Teachers have delivered under extremely difficult circumstances throughout the pandemic – a fact that has been repeatedly acknowledged by politicians of all parties.
“It is now time for those politicians to pay up, to ensure that teachers do not experience a deep real-terms pay cut as a result of the soaring cost of living.”