Pay offer to teachers fails to recognise their value to Scotland

Created on: 01 Apr 2021 | Last modified: 01 Apr 2021

The pay offer made to Scotland’s teachers and associated professionals is “completely inadequate” and “fails to recognise the value of teachers to Scotland”, says Scotland’s largest teaching union.

The EIS also expressed its frustration at the slow rate of negotiations on the teachers’ pay claim, which was submitted in December last year. The lengthy delay in the employers initially responding to the teachers’ pay claim, together with slow progress in subsequent discussions, meant that Scotland’s teachers did not receive a pay settlement by today’s scheduled implementation date of the 1st of April. No improvement was made at a negotiating meeting held yesterday, with employers sticking to their pay offer which averages a little over 1% if it were to be distributed on a universal basis amongst Scotland’s teachers.

Commenting, EIS Salaries Convener Des Morris said, “The value of Scotland’s teachers has been clearly highlighted throughout the current pandemic, where teachers have worked extremely hard to support young people in quite unprecedented and extremely challenging circumstances. The level of public and political praise for teachers has been extremely high during this time, with frequent statements highlighting the value of teachers to the country throughout lockdown and the essential role that education will play in supporting the national recovery from the Covid pandemic. In this context, the pay offer that has been made to teachers – which would represent a real-terms pay cut for the majority of teachers – is completely inadequate.”

Mr Morris continued, “Last December, the teachers’ side of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) submitted a very measured claim for a pay settlement of between 3% and 5% for Scotland’s teachers. Now, more than 3 months later, we are looking at an offer from employers for a 1% pay settlement for the majority of teachers. This sub-inflation level pay offer would result in an effective pay cut for Scotland’s teachers – hardly an appropriate recognition of the important role that teachers have played throughout the pandemic and the vital role they will play in the national recovery from Covid. The offer is also divisive, offering different pay settlements for teachers based on their grade of post – something that the EIS will never accept.”

Mr Morris added, “The difference between the offer made to Scotland’s teachers and that made recently to the country’s NHS workers is glaring. Our NHS colleagues are absolutely deserving of a fair pay settlement that properly recognises the vital work that they do – but Scotland’s teachers and, indeed, other public sector workers also deserve to have their vital contributions property recognised. The pay offer that has been made to Scotland’s teachers is inadequate and divisive, and therefore completely unacceptable.”