Teachers to be balloted over strike action
Thousands of teachers are to be balloted over strike action in a dispute with the Scottish Government about pay.
Plans for the ballot were approved yesterday at a specially-convened meeting of one of Scotland’s biggest teaching unions. The Educational Institute of Scotland union (EIS) has been campaigning for teachers to be awarded a 10% pay rise in a single year.
Formal notice will be given to local authorities this week and ballot papers will be issued later this month.
The union – which represents 80% of Scottish teachers – claim its members’ wages have fallen by 20% in real terms in the past decade.
Last week it rejected the latest pay offer from the Scottish Government and council body, Cosla.
The union’s general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “We have been negotiating for a year, on a pay claim that was due to be settled last April. Teachers’ patience is now exhausted.”
Education Secretary John Swinney said an enhanced proposal was put to the EIS on Thursday and Cosla would be asked to make a formal offer after January 25. Mr Swinney said: “Under this scenario, teachers would receive a minimum 9% increase between January 2018 and April 2019 and a further 3% rise in April 2020.
“I urge the teaching unions to consider this favourably so parties can bring discussions to a conclusion.”
The last widespread industrial action by Scottish teachers was in the 1980s.
EIS’S Larry Flanagan