Teachers could strike after pay offer rejected by union members

Teachers could be balloted on industrial action in the row over pay, a union has warned.

Leaders of the NASUWT union in Scotland said its members rejected the wage rise offered to teachers and it will now “consider a formal ballot for industrial action”.

It comes after a survey of more than 1,000 teachers by the union found 54% were so angry about the current pay deal they were willing to take industrial action to demonstrate their concerns

Scotland’s largest teaching union, the EIS, has also urged its members to reject the offer 3% pay rise put forward by the Scottish Government.

The EIS has been campaigning for a 10% wage hike for across the board.

Education Secretary John Swinney said restructuring of the main pay grade scale and annual progression means most teachers will receive a rise between 5% and 11%.

But tens of thousands of teachers took to the streets of Glasgow in October to voice their unhappiness over the offer.

More than half (56%) of the teachers surveyed by the NASUWT indicated they would be willing to take more than one day of strike action.

Meanwhile, only 10% said they would not be willing to take any action at all.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: “Our members are clearly angry and rightly so. Their response clearly shows the divisive nature of this pay offer.

“It will do nothing to combat the growing crisis in teacher supply.

“The NASUWT will be conveying the outcome of the survey to employers and to Government and the union will consider a formal ballot for industrial action on pay, depending on their response.”

She added: “One-off, inadequate annual percentage pay awards do nothing to close the 20% pay gap faced by teachers as a result of year-on-year pay cuts.

“It is time that ministers and employers recognised that teachers are deeply frustrated by the lack of tangible progress in ensuring that year-on-year pay cuts are addressed, excessive workload is reduced and teachers are supported in tackling pupil indiscipline.

“Discussions are urgently needed on a new deal for teachers encompassing all of these issues, including a multi-year pay award designed to close the enormous pay gap.”