Teachers in Scotland who asked for a 10% pay rise have rejected their employers ‘best and final’ offer of 3% which will, says one politician, lead to industrial action.

The teachers rejected the employers’ offer saying it fell short of the 10% pay rise they need.

The teacher salaries in Scotland are negotiated by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and their offer of a 3% pay rise is in line with the public sector pay policy set by the Scottish government.

Schools in Scotland are now ‘heading for industrial action’

Now Iain Gray, the education spokesman for Labour, say schools in Scotland are ‘heading for industrial action’.

The offer from the Scottish government is to increase public sector pay by 3% for those who are earning up to £36,500.

For public sector employees earning more than this figure, they are being offered a 2% pay rise.

However, teachers’ union EIS says all teaching staff should receive a 10% pay rise.

The union also points out that is has a mandate from its members to call a ballot for industrial action.

A spokesman for teacher side of the SNCT told one news outlet that the pay offer ‘failed to recognise the value of teachers’ dedication and deliver an appropriate salary for the country’s teaching professionals’.

‘Scotland expects and wants the best teaching professionals’

He added: “Scotland expects and wants the best teaching professionals but it is unwilling to pay the appropriate professional salary to teachers who are working in our schools.”

The spokesman also highlighted that the ‘notion of a differentiated deal’ that would award a lower pay increase to some teachers compared to colleagues would be rejected.

He also warned that Scotland is facing a growing crisis in teacher retention and recruitment and the declining rates of pay is a key factor contributing to the problem.

Iain Gray warned: “Schools in Scotland are heading for industrial action unless the government takes action over teachers workload and pay.”

He added that teachers have made clear that they were not going to accept 3% and they’ve had enough of the negotiations.

‘Industrial action is not in the interests of anyone’

A spokeswoman for the Scottish government said: “Industrial action is not in the interests of anyone in our schools, least of all parents and pupils.

“The pay for teachers is a matter for the SNCT and the negotiations are now underway for 2018/19. The Scottish government will play a part in these discussions and urges everyone to take a constructive approach.”

The teacher unions and employers are set to meet again after Easter.

The EIS is also saying that a ballot calling for industrial action up to ‘and including strike action’ by teachers could be held in a few weeks, depending on how negotiations progress.