Teaching union to proceed with strike action ballot over pay

Scotland’s largest teaching union has indicated that it will proceed with balloting members over strike action after no fresh pay offer was made.

Last week, EIS warned local authorities body COSLA and the Scottish Government that teachers would vote over whether to take strike action if an improved deal was not put forward.

Members voted to reject the latest pay offer – a series of rises worth 9% by April, plus a 3% rise next year – by 57%, with a turnout of 81%.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said that following a meeting of the extended joint chairs group of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) on Monday, the union would continue with plans to issue a ballot.

“Regrettably, no new offer was made and so the EIS will continue moving towards a statutory strike ballot which will open on Monday next week (January 11).

“The lack of any new offer is unfortunate following last week’s more positive discussions.

“It will be disappointing if the Scottish Government and COSLA spurn the opportunity to avoid industrial action, but once again it looks as though EIS members are going to have to demonstrate just how deep the discontent within Scottish Education has become.”

Mr Flanagan added that although pay is one issue for teachers, excessive workloads, a lack of support for teachers with pupils with additional supports needs, paperwork, growing class sizes, a lack of resources and teacher stress were also factors in the decision to take action.

“No-one wants industrial action, but Scotland’s teachers feel compelled to make a stand,” said Mr Flanagan.

“No further SNCT meeting has been scheduled, but the Teachers’ side is clear that we would be available to meet at any point to work towards a negotiated agreement.”

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