Relief after pay deal reached in Scotland

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Scottish teachers have accepted a one per cent pay rise this year and next, as well as assurances on staffing numbers and workload, which together removes the threat of industrial action.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s biggest teaching union, welcomed the deal, which was struck through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), representing teachers, councils and the government. 

However, the EIS general secretary, Larry Flanagan, said it would resist further squeezes on real-terms salaries in the coming years as the economy picks up.

After 90 per cent of members voted to accept it, he said: “Teachers have recognised the positive elements of this hard-won package, including important gains on short-term supply teacher pay, salary protection for former chartered teachers, and agreement in principle to maintain teacher numbers while tackling growing teacher workload.”

He continued: “However, the pay element of the package, one per cent for both this year and next, falls far short of being a fair settlement.

“After years of government-imposed pay freezes, coupled with the sub-inflationary pay element in this package, teachers have suffered significant real-term pay cuts over several years.”

Last year the EIS had suggested strike action was likely after deeming original conditions unacceptable.

As the economy continues to recover, “and the bankers who caused the financial crisis increasingly return to their excessive pay and bonus culture”, Mr Flanagan said, so the restraint on public sector pay should end.

“Our teaching professionals, and other public sector workers, cannot continue to be endlessly squeezed to pay for a financial crisis that was not of their making.”

The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) also expressed relief that salaries for this year and next could now be settled.

Alan McKenzie, acting general secretary, said: “This is welcome news that should allow the salary increase that was inevitable ending up in the pay packets of our members.  We have always been of the view that the changes to the work practices proposed were minor and that view remains unaltered to this moment.”

 


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