Teaching unions in Scotland have declared a formal dispute over the most recent salary offer.
The teachers’ side of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) rejected a 1.22% pay raise earlier in the year. Teaching union representatives claimed that it did not account for inflation – and was, in effect, a pay cut.
The SNCT is a three-part body with representatives of teachers, local authorities and the Scottish Government.
The unions said that they have not received a better offer from the Scottish Government or Local Authorities since.
Now, EIS and three other teaching unions have launched a formal dispute, citing “unacceptable” delays since teachers submitted a pay claim last December.
Current teacher pay offer “completely unacceptable”
Des Morris, EIS salaries convener and chair of the teachers’ side of the SNCT, said that a 1.22% raise wouldn’t meet teachers’ needs or account for the pandemic.
“The value of Scotland’s teachers has been clearly highlighted throughout the pandemic, where teachers have worked extremely hard to support young people in quite unprecedented and extremely challenging circumstances.
“In this context, the pay offer of a little over 1% that has been made to Scotland’s teachers – representing a significant real-terms pay cut – is completely unacceptable.”
Unions: We have been ‘forced’ into dispute
The unions submitted a salary claim on behalf of teachers in Scotland in December 2020. Representatives said they expected a settlement by now.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan claimed delays have forced them into the dispute.
“It is completely unacceptable that nine months after our pay claim was submitted, Scotland’s local authorities and the Scottish Government have failed to respond with a reasonable pay settlement to Scotland’s teachers.
“Teachers want to focus their energies on supporting education recovery for their students, but anger and frustration is growing over what is seen as a devaluing of the profession.”
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said that the recent offer doesn’t reflect the public support for Scotland’s teachers
“Teachers are increasingly angry and demoralised at the failure to agree a fair pay award which recognises the tremendous contribution they have made during the pandemic.
“We urge the employer to recognise the strength of feeling of teachers and come forward with a reasonable pay offer which recognises the vital work our members do for our children and young people and which will support the continued recruitment and retention of teachers in Scotland.”
When asked to respond to the teacher salary dispute in Scotland, a Scottish Government spokesperson said:
“We will continue to play our part, positively and constructively, on pay negotiations.”