Thou­sands of Scots teach­ers de­mand 10% pay rise

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WEEK - By Graeme Mur­ray

THOU­SANDS of teach­ers from across Scot­land staged an up­beat rally in the heart of Glas­gow yes­ter­day to de­mand a 10 per cent in­crease in pay for the pro­fes­sion.

The colour­ful event, which marched from Kelv­in­grove Park, gath­ered in the city’s Ge­orge Square where speak­ers from the teach­ing union Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tute of Scot­land ral­lied mem­bers. A bright yel­low theme of plac­ards, T-shirts, tam­mies, bal­loons and dog coats em­bla­zoned with “value ed­u­ca­tion, value teach­ers” was prom­i­nent among those who had gath­ered.

Teach­ers’ feel­ings were stoked on stage by EIS lead­ers who de­manded a 10 per cent in­crease in wages and urged Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary John Swin­ney to “pay up”.

“We’ve got a mes­sage for John Swin­ney. If you want to talk to teach­ers, talk to our union be­cause that’s who rep­re­sents us.” The march yes­ter­day morn­ing snaked its way from the west end to the heart of Glas­gow.

Teach­ers from Shet­land, East Ren­frew­shire, Ed­in­burgh and Ayr­shire were among the marchers led by a pipe band.

A 40-year-old high school teacher from Bears­den, East Dun­bar­ton­shire, who was among the marchers, said: “I’ve seen a big dif­fer­ence in pay and con­di­tions.

“We are ex­pected to do far more work than our con­tracted hours.

“I hope our voices are heard be­cause this is not just about value in ed­u­ca­tion but value for chil­dren.”

The mother-of-two, who asked not to be named, brought along her four-year-old daugh­ter and one-year-old son to the rally. She added: “I hope that es­pe­cially when they get to high school, we will have good teach­ers on de­cent money. The teach­ing pro­fes­sion is now reach­ing cri­sis point.”

Although tem­per­a­tures were on the chilly side, bright sun­shine en­sured that a good mood pre­vailed through­out the event which had a small po­lice pres­ence.

The teach­ers reg­u­larly broke into chants of “What do we want 10 per cent. When do we want it now!”

A pri­mary teacher in her 40s from north Glas­gow was among a group of fe­male teach­ers who joined in with the up­beat mood of the event. She said: “I agree with a pay rise it would be great if that can be achieved. For years there’s been a lot of talk about re­duc­ing the work­load, but for me it’s more about re­spect. Teach­ers need to be re­spected.”

EIS branches from across Scot­land were rep­re­sented.

Home­made ban­ners and flags were also com­mon­place among the size­able crowd. One read: “Ni­cola: We made ed­u­ca­tion #1 pri­or­ity. Did ye, aye?”

Or­gan­is­ers es­ti­mated 20,000 peo­ple took part in the march.

The union has been call­ing a 10 per cent rise for teach­ers.

A pay of­fer which would have seen all teach­ers re­ceive a rise of three per cent was re­jected last month. The EIS will open a bal­lot of its mem­bers on Tues­day, call­ing on them to re­ject the cur­rent of­fer. The bal­lot closes on Novem­ber 20.

Swin­ney said: “We want teach­ing to be a re­ward­ing ca­reer choice – to keep peo­ple in the pro­fes­sion and to at­tract new en­trants – and that is why the Scot­tish Govern­ment is con­tribut­ing an ad­di­tional £35 mil­lion this year for teach­ers’ pay.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.