Teachers vote 'overwhelmingly' to reject pay offer

Written by Gemma Fraser on 20 November 2018 in News

Teachers could now ballot for strike action

EIS assembly - EIS

Scottish teachers have voted to reject a three per cent pay offer in a ballot organised by the EIS teaching union.

More than 98 per cent of those who voted rejected the offer in the “most overwhelming ballot result in modern EIS history”.

Teachers are asking for 10 per cent pay rise, but the offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA is based on a three per cent cost of living increase plus some additional changes to the main grade pay scale for un-promoted teachers.

Larry Flanagan, General Secretary of the EIS, said: “Last month, Scotland’s teachers sent a strong message to the Scottish Government and COSLA, about the deep discontent amongst the profession, when well over 30,000 took to the streets of Glasgow to march in support of the EIS Value Education, Value Teachers pay campaign.

“Today’s near unanimous rejection of the pay offer is a landmark result, one of the strongest rejections of an offer in EIS history, and one which is indicative of the current mood of Scotland’s teachers, increasingly agitated on pay but angry also at excessive workload, mainstreaming on the cheap, and austerity driven cuts to resources.

“EIS members are sending a very clear signal to the Scottish Government and COSLA with this ballot result, that change is needed.”

The pay dispute comes amid a growing discontent amongst teachers who are facing increasing pressures in the classroom.

In September, a report from international economists OECD revealed teachers in Scotland work the longest hours of any in the developed world.

EIS President Alison Thornton said: “Teachers have shown patience and restraint over the past decade, and indeed during the long-running negotiations on the 2018 pay offer.

“But this result demonstrates clearly that Scotland’s teachers have had enough and are demanding action.

“We hope that Mr Swinney and COSLA are paying attention.

“The EIS continues to hope for a negotiated agreement, but we are fully prepared to ballot for industrial action should this be necessary to secure a fair deal.

“We urge the Scottish Government and COSLA to return to the negotiating table with a greatly improved offer, before it is too late.”

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