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Teachers' union threatens industrial action over pay

The EIS is calling for salaries to be restored to pre-austerity levels.

Teaching: Pay rise of 2% 'not acceptable' (file pic).
Teaching: Pay rise of 2% 'not acceptable' (file pic).

A union has threatened industrial action in schools unless teachers' pay is substantially improved this year.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) warned a below inflation pay rise would be "unacceptable" ahead of negotiations with the Scottish Government and councils.

The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) will decide the 2018/19 pay settlement for Scotland's teachers, with the EIS calling for pay to be restored to pre-austerity levels.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay has committed to lifting the 1% public sector pay cap and providing for a 3% pay rise for NHS staff, police, teachers and others earning up to £30,000 and 2% for those earning more than £30,000.

The union, which represents more than 80% of Scotland's teachers, said the 2% offer was not good enough.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: "The EIS will enter into this year's SNCT discussions in good faith, and we will hope that a fair agreement can be reached quickly through negotiation.

"We are very clear, however, that the finance secretary's 2% offer will not be acceptable to Scotland's teachers.

"We go into these discussions with a very clear objective - to achieve a meaningful pay award that will start the process of returning teachers' pay to pre-austerity levels.

"We hope to achieve this through negotiation but stand fully prepared to take all options - including industrial action - to ensure that teachers receive the fair pay increase that they deserve."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We have already taken action to reduce workload and have agreed a backdated 1% pay rise from April and a further 1% uplift from January until the end of March 2018 - backed by an additional £24m in the draft budget."

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