Second teaching union threatens industrial action over pay
SSTA members support industrial action if new pay deal isn't inflation-busting, union warns
Teachers - Holyrood
A second teaching union in Scotland has issued a warning that members would support industrial action over pay.
The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) has published a membership survey which show 96 per cent support for industrial action if an upcoming pay award isn’t higher than inflation.
The move follows a similar threat by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) which said teachers wanted pay restored to “pre austerity levels”.
A pay deal was reached last month for 2017, which saw a one per cent rise backdated to April 2017 with a further one per cent rise in force from January.
The 2018/19 settlement is still being discussed by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers.
The SSTA survey found 77 per cent of respondents were unhappy with the 2017 deal. 96 per cent were prepared to take industrial action over the 2018 deal, with 64 per cent willing to go on strike.
The survey also found that 68 per cent were considering switching career.
General secretary Seamus Searson said many teachers were being “pushed away” from the profession by a “never ending workload”.
“The government must see its priority to retain the experienced teachers we have now,” he said.
“This will only be achieved with a substantial pay rise in 2018 and a radical change to cut teacher workload.
“The government must be prepared to ask if it can afford to lose more of its experienced teachers if it wishes to maintain education standards.”
The Scottish Government said it would play its part in negotiations.
A spokeswoman said: “Industrial action in our schools would not be in the interest of anyone, least of all pupils and parents.
“This government was the first in the UK to commit to lift the one per cent public sector pay cap, and the teachers’ pay deal for 2017-18 reflects this commitment.”
In his draft budget, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay committed to award a three per cent pay rise for public sector workers earning up to £30,000 and two per cent for those earning more than £30,000.
After the recent increase, only probation teachers and those on the first two salary bands earn under £30,000.
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