EIS threatens industrial action over teacher pay

Written by Jenni Davidson on 5 January 2018 in News

The EIS has called for teacher pay to be restored to “pre-austerity levels” if strikes are to be avoided

Teacher prepares classroom - Image credit: Bart Everson via Flickr

Scotland’s largest teaching union is threatening industrial action if teachers’ pay is not returned to “pre-austerity levels”.

Ahead of negotiations on pay, teaching union the EIS has warned that another sub-inflation pay rise would be “unacceptable” and called for teachers’ salaries to be “substantially improved” if industrial action is to be avoided.

The EIS and other unions will begin negotiations with local authorities and the Scottish Government on the 2018/2019 pay settlement for Scotland's teachers via the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) later this month.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: "The clear message that teachers wish their employers and the Scottish Government to hear is that 'enough is enough' and that the era of real-terms pay cuts must end.

“For far too long, teachers have been paying the price of austerity-driven cuts prompted by a financial situation that was not of their making.

“This has led to a decade-long decline in teachers' pay with serious implications for teacher recruitment, retention and for education provision across the country.”

In the draft budget last month, finance secretary Derek Mackay announced that the one per cent cap on public sector pay rises would be lifted, with those earning less than £30,000 a year to get a three per cent pay rise next year, while those on over £30,000 a year would see their pay go up by two per cent.

This is in addition to a backdated one per cent pay rise for teachers from last April and a further one per cent increase from January to March 2018.

However, Flanagan said the two per cent pay offer would be unacceptable to teachers.

He said: "The EIS will enter into this year’s SNCT discussions in good faith, and we will hope that a fair agreement can be reached quickly through negotiation.

"We are very clear, however, that the Finance Minister’s two per cent 'offer' will not be acceptable to Scotland’s teachers.

“We go into these discussions with a very clear objective – to achieve a meaningful pay award that will start the process of returning teachers' pay to pre-austerity levels.”

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