Teachers urged to turn down pay offer
A ballot to reject the deal will open at the end of the month and a vote on strike action could be next
Image credit: PA
Scotland’s largest teaching union has announced it will ballot its members on the latest pay offer in the next stage of its campaign for a ten per cent rise for teachers.
The EIS is recommending that members vote to reject the offer, and is calling for a huge ballot turnout and an overwhelming refusal to accept the current ‘divisive’ proposal from the Scottish Government and COSLA.
Pay talks once again broke down last week after unions rejected the proposal of a three per cent rise.
Unions have already warned that strike action could be on the cards.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “An extremely angry EIS Salaries Committee has today taken the decision to open a consultative ballot of our members on the pay offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA.
“EIS Negotiators are very clear that this reheated offer, which has previously been rejected by all of the teaching unions on the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, is divisive and continues to undervalue teachers.
“The EIS is strongly recommending to our members that they send a very clear message by voting overwhelmingly to reject this offer.”
Flanagan added: “Scotland’s teachers were angered by reports in the press earlier this week, based on comments made by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, claiming that Scotland’s teachers are apparently ‘well-paid’.
“The reality is that Scotland’s teachers have seen their take-home pay reduced, in real-terms, by around 24 per cent over the past decade.”
Education secretary John Swinney argues the offer would result in all teachers on the main grade scale receiving at least a five per cent increase, with some teachers receiving up to 11 per cent in one year in conjunction with annual progression.
He says this matches or betters other offers in the public sector in Scotland.
Labour’s education spokesperson Iain Gray said: "This is a clear rebuke to John Swinney for his misleading claims on teacher pay, and a humiliating moment for a government that claims education is the top priority
"Once again the SNP Education Secretary, for so long considered a safe pair of hands, had dropped the ball badly.
"Given a platform to show teachers that he does value them, John Swinney’s arrogant and inaccurate comments have only succeeded in further enraging the profession.
"The SNP needs to sort out this mess, fast."
The ballot will open on 29 October.
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