A teachers strike is looming in Scotland after a 3% pay rise offer was rejected as being ‘derisory’.
The move comes after the Scottish Negotiating Meeting for Teachers (SNMT), which is an umbrella organisation for teaching organisations, councils and the Scottish government held its recent meeting to reach a pay deal.
A spokesman for SNMT said: “The teachers side made clear this was a derisory offer which fails to address a decade of detriment for teachers pay.”
He added that while negotiators welcomed changes to pay grade scales, they want the retention and recruitment of teachers to be improved and insist there should be a 10% pay rise.
The teachers have the backing from the Greens party in Scotland who say teaching staff should be paid to reflect the ‘essential work they do’ in the face of budget cuts, overwhelming workload and staff shortages.
Scotland needs new teachers
Ross Greer, a spokesman for the Greens, said: “It’s misleading to present the offer as some sort of unprecedented pay rise when those who benefit will make up half of the value of their wages they have lost over the last 10 years. Scotland needs new teachers and we need to make the profession as attractive as possible.”
In June, the teaching union EIS voted in favour of preparing for strikes unless the current pay deal achieved a 10% pay rise without any detriment to their current conditions and pay.
A meeting for SNMT is now scheduled for 4 October with negotiations on pay continuing.
The 3% pay offer was made earlier this month and would see teaching staff receiving more money with pay scale changes for unpromoted staff.
First national strike in Scotland by teachers
If teaching staff do vote to go on strike, it will be the first national strike in Scotland by teachers since the 1980s.
The EIS says a 10% pay rise is justified after years of budget cuts and a growing recruitment crisis.
However, the umbrella body for councils, Cosla, says that any pay increase above 3% could see ‘essential services being reduced and job losses’. They say nurses are demanding a similar increase.
Cosla’s Gail MacGregor said: “Our policy on pay parity across the workforce means being fair to all workers and it’s why the improved offer has been made to all workers.”
Heads have also expressed their issues with overhauling pay scales which they say would benefit less senior school employees.