Scottish Education Secretary Says There Will Be No New Salary Offer For Teachers
Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Secretary of Education, has once again assured teachers that they will not receive a salary increase. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has been on strike for three weeks, with each day’s strikes affecting two different council areas. This activity will conclude in Inverclyde and Shetland on Monday.
But more strikes are set to take place at the end of February and the start of March. The union has requested a 10% raise, which ministers and councils have said is unaffordable. The current offer of 5% includes increases of up to 6.85% for the lowest-paid employees.
There have been additional negotiations between the Scottish government, the council body Cosla, and the unions, but no new salary offers have been made. Four offers have been made, but all have been rejected by teacher unions,” Ms. Somerville said. It’s becoming increasingly clear that more give and take is needed to reach a lasting agreement.
Our conversation today centred on expanding potential areas of agreement. Everyone involved agreed that no further proposal would be submitted. According to the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, “only Cosla as the employer can make a new pay offer.”
On Thursday, the EIS said the dispute could be settled by the prime minister.
“The only thing that will settle this dispute is an improved offer to Scotland’s teachers, one that is both fair and affordable to them,” said Des Morris, convener of EIS Salaries. This would require additional new funding from the Scottish government. This is how disagreements with other government employees in the same jurisdiction were resolved.
For this dispute to be resolved quickly, the First Minister must authorise the Cabinet Secretary and her officials to release the small amount of additional funding required to do so. That’s the same deal we’re making everyone else. Mr. Morris claimed that the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) would not be meeting again because “little or no” progress had been made over pay in the previous several months. He continued, “As always, the EIS remains ready and willing to re-enter discussions with the Scottish government and Scottish local authorities to discuss a new pay offer for teachers.
But we won’t discuss an offer that’s already been turned down twice by teachers. It has been stated that “the Scottish government and Cosla must come up with an improved offer to allow pay discussions to progress towards an agreement that genuinely reflects both the soaring cost of living and the value of Scotland’s teachers.”