Union delivers 25,000-name petition demanding pay rise for teachers

Scotland’s largest teachers’ union has gathered signatures from 25,000 people in support of a pay rise for staff.

Last month, the EIS rejected a 2.2% pay deal, saying its members would be willing to strike if they did not receive a fair offer, with the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers submitting a 10% pay claim on behalf of the profession.

The union delivered the petition on Friday to both the Scottish Government and local authority body Cosla.

In a letter addressed to Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville and Cosla education spokeswoman Katie Hagmann, the union’s general secretary designate, Andrea Bradley, said: “Thousands of teachers and supporters have put their names to our Pay Attention petition, pledging their support for a fair pay settlement for teachers without further delay, to help protect teachers as essential public sector workers from the impact of rising inflation.

Scotland’s largest teachers’ union has gathered signatures from 25,000 people in support of a pay rise for staff.

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“The signatories of our petition are in no doubt that the significant real-terms pay cut offered by Cosla on behalf of employers last month, weeks after the date when teachers’ salaries should have seen an uplift, is far from acceptable in the current economic climate.

“They are clear that teachers as dedicated public sector workers do not deserve to be among the hardest hit by the crisis.

“A delayed and derisory 2% offer comes nowhere near what is required to justly acknowledge what teachers have delivered throughout Covid and continue to deliver in response to ever-increasing demands and expectations upon them from all directions.

“In fact, it is viewed as deeply insulting by our members.”

Ms Bradley also warned that low pay, as well as an excessive workload could push teachers out of the profession, as well as turning graduates away.

“On behalf of the EIS, I urge you on behalf of the Scottish Government to pay attention, give serious consideration to the petition and the issues outlined, and to act accordingly to bring about a much-deserved and now much-overdue pay settlement for Scotland’s teachers,” Ms Bradley added.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting a fair pay offer for teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, the body that negotiates teachers’ pay and conditions of service. It is for local government, as the employer, to make any revised offer of pay.”