Teachers' vote on improved pay offer begins
Scottish teachers have started voting on whether or not they should accept an improved pay offer.
Teaching unions the EIS and the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) are balloting their members over the next three weeks.
The new deal would see teachers get a series of pay increases worth nine per cent in total then another three per cent rise next year.
The EIS – which is Scotland’s largest teaching union – revealed last week that it is recommending its members reject the offer and move to a statutory ballot on strike action.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “The EIS has now opened a ballot of its members on the revised pay offer.
“Following considerable debate at our council last week, a decision was taken to recommend rejection of the offer and a move to a statutory ballot for strike action.
“However, given the wide range of views that were expressed at the meeting, council also agreed to provide members with detail of arguments both for and against the offer, to support members in making an informed decision when they cast their vote.
“Ultimately, it will be for the members to decide whether to accept or reject the offer that has been put to them.”
Flanagan added: “The EIS launched its Value Education, Value Teachers pay campaign one year ago, and the campaign has been a great success in putting the issue of teacher pay back onto the political agenda.
“The campaign has also energised teachers across Scotland, increased the involvement of members of the union at both a local and national level, and highlighted other challenges facing teachers such as severe workload and supporting pupils with additional support needs.
“At every stage, this has been a member-led campaign and this will continue to be the case as we move forward with this ballot and beyond.”
Education Secretary John Swinney said: "From the very start, the Scottish government and COSLA have been clear with the unions that we want to deliver the fair pay rise that teachers deserve. That is why we have put on the table the best pay deal in the UK for any public sector workers."
He added: "EIS council narrowly voted to recommend rejection of the enhanced offer but members will now have their say. I urge all teachers to be clear in their understanding of the deal on the table, to give it serious consideration and to recommend their representatives to accept on their behalf."
The result of the ballot is expected to be announced on February 22.