Teach­ers to be bal­loted over strike ac­tion

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Krissy Stor­rar [email protected]

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

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