Teach­ers’ new of­fer should be ac­cepted

The Herald on Sunday - - TALK BACK -

THE news that the Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary has made a re­vised pay pro­posal for teach­ers is to be wel­comed.

The im­passe over pay ne­go­ti­a­tions has dragged on for too long and needs to be re­solved quickly.

An ini­tial of­fer of 9% over three years was in line with deals struck with other pub­lic sec­tor work­ers, but was not good enough for teach­ing unions.

They want a big rise over one year and seem pre­pared to strike to put pres­sure on the Gov­ern­ment and coun­cils.

The Gov­ern­ment’s cre­ative so­lu­tion has been to sup­ple­ment an in­fla­tion­ary in­crease with an over­haul of the pay scale.

Col­lec­tively the changes could sig­nif­i­cantly boost teacher pay.

The cur­rent of­fer has been re­jected, but Swin­ney has now sug­gested an out­come that would give teach­ers 12% over 15 months.

While not per­fect for ei­ther the tax­payer or the unions, this idea should be em­braced with open arms.

The pro­posal puts more money into the pock­ets of teach­ers and makes the pro­fes­sion much more at­trac­tive to new starts.

It also helps teach­ers who are at the top of the main grade scale.

The fo­cus of the Gov­ern­ment, coun­cils and teach­ers should be clos­ing the at­tain­ment gap, not a dam­ag­ing in­dus­trial dis­pute.

We urge all sides to get be­hind the Swin­ney plan and work to­gether to make ed­u­ca­tion bet­ter.

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