Pay deal: Scottish teachers vote to accept ‘meagre’ 2.5 per cent rise

Members of the EIS, Scotland’s biggest union for teachers and lecturers, have “overwhelmingly” voted to accept a two-year pay and conditions offer from local authorities.

The deal includes a 2.5 per cent increase in pay over two years: 1.5 per cent for 2015-16 and a further 1 per cent for 2016-17. The EIS will move for formal acceptance at the full meeting of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers later this month.

EIS members, who make up more than four in five of the country’s teachers, voted in favour of the deal by 83 per cent to 17 per cent.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Teachers have acknowledged the positive elements of the overall package and the degree of financial certainty that comes with a two-year agreement, even while recognising that the pay award itself is disappointing.

“That a meagre pay increase of 2.5 per cent over two years actually exceeds current government pay policy demonstrates that teachers, in line with other public sector workers, are continuing to pay the price for an economic crisis that was not of their making.

“The EIS remains committed to pursuing future restorative pay rises to return teachers’ real-terms pay to at least pre-crisis levels.”

The deal contains some positive elements not related to pay, the union said, including: a commitment to examine problems around supply teaching; an agreed set of principles and action on managing teacher workload; and, “crucially”, a separate commitment from the Scottish government on maintaining teacher numbers.

Last month the salaries committee of the NASUWT Scotland union rejected the offer after “overwhelming” opposition.

At the time, national official Jane Peckham said: “There is clear anger and frustration at the refusal by employers and the Scottish government to act to reverse the attacks on their pay and conditions, which are driving up stress levels and contributing to a record low in teacher morale.”

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