Teachers Begin Voting On Offer Of 9% Pay Rise

31 January 2019, 08:55 | Updated: 31 January 2019, 08:56

Male teacher

Teachers are to begin voting on whether to accept their latest pay offer, with Scotland's largest teaching union recommending the deal is rejected.

Cosla has offered a 9% increase between April 2018 and April 2019, with a further 3% next year, backed by Scottish Government funding.

EIS officials voted narrowly to reject the deal at a council meeting last week, as unions have been campaigning for 10% one-year rise.

A three-week consultative ballot of EIS members opens at noon on Thursday.

The union recommends rejecting the pay offer and moving for a statutory ballot for strike action.

It has agreed to include arguments both for and against in the ballot communication to enable members to make an informed decision.

In a message to teachers, the EIS said: "Ultimately, the decision lies with you, the members.

"This has been your campaign; this is your union; and you decide what happens next.

"Whatever your view, please use your vote."

Education Secretary John Swinney has said the offer is a "fair pay rise" and the best deal for public sector workers UK-wide.

He said: "It would see all teachers receive a minimum 9% pay increase by April this year, with a further 3% increase in April 2020.

"The lowest paid teachers would see their salaries increase 16% by April this year and almost 20% by next April, before any salary progression is taken into account.

"The starting salary for a fully registered teacher will also increase by almost 20% by April 2020.

"And those already at the top of the pay scale will see their pay rise from £36,480 to over £41,000 by April next year.

"The additional Scottish Government funding for restructuring pay grades would total almost £280 million over three years, in addition to the current local government settlement, and will not only see an increase in salaries for everyone within the profession, it will also ensure quicker pay progression.

"Under this offer a new teacher would reach the maximum of the pay scale in five years. A clear indication of our commitment to recruit and retain teachers.

"EIS council narrowly voted to recommend rejection of the enhanced offer but members will now have their say. I urge all teachers to be clear in their understanding of the deal on the table, to give it serious consideration and to recommend their representatives to accept on their behalf."

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said previously it is "up to our members to decide on whether to accept or reject this revised offer".