Teachers’ new offer should be accepted
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.