Scotland’s teachers set to reject 12 per cent two-year pay rise offer

Young female teacher writing math formula on blackboard in classroom.
Young female teacher writing math formula on blackboard in classroom.
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Teachers in Scotland will be recommended to reject the latest pay offer from Cosla, the country’s largest teaching union has indicated.

Following a meeting yesterday, the EIS council announced it had voted “narrowly” to recommend a rejection of the revised offer – a 9% increase between April 2018 and April 2019, with a further 3% next year. Teaching unions have been campaigning for a 10% one-year deal.

A consultative ballot of EIS members will now be held on the offer, with a recommendation from the council that it should be rejected.

The council also agreed the ballot communication will reflect the range of opinions expressed, including arguments both for and against the offer to support members in making an informed decision.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Following today’s decision at council, it will now be for our members to decide on whether to accept or reject this revised offer.”

Scotland’s council leaders agreed earlier in the day to support a Scottish Government Policy intervention and support the revised offer.

Councillor Gail Macgregor said: “I am pleased that council leaders have today agreed to present a revised proposal incorporating the additional monies made available by the Scottish Government to the teaching unions.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the offer represented a “fair pay rise” for teachers.

Mr Swinney said: “It is extremely disappointing that EIS council have voted to recommend rejection of the enhanced offer agreed by Cosla earlier today, and by such a narrow margin.

“This offer would see teachers receive a minimum 9% increase between January 2018 and April 2019, with a further 3% rise in April 2020.

“It is a clear indication of our commitment to recruit and retain teachers, and is unmatched in the public sector.

“The Scottish Government will provide the funding for pay restructuring in addition to the Local Government settlement.

“I am pleased this offer will be put to teachers for their consideration despite the narrow EIS leadership recommendation to reject it.”

He added: “We believe that this offer represents the fair pay rise that teachers deserve and the consultative ballot planned by EIS still presents an opportunity to get this pay rise into their members’ pockets as soon as possible. That is what is in everyone’s interests and other professional associations have already made clear that this is what they support and this is what we will continue to work towards. Industrial action is not in anyone’s interests.”