New pay offer made to stop Scottish teacher strikes closing schools

It comes ahead of a further 20 days of rolling walkouts forcing primaries and secondaries to close across the country.

COSLA makes new pay offer to stop Scottish teacher strikes closing schools Pixabay

A significant new pay offer for Scottish teachers has been formally made ahead of more than 20 days of strikes set to close schools.

The deal is made up of a 7% rise for last year, a 5% rise this year and a 2% increase from January 2024.

Scotland’s education secretary called the offer “historic”.

Unions will now consider whether to put the offer to members and whether to suspend upcoming strike action.

On Thursday, the general secretary of the country’s largest teaching union, the EIS, Andrea Bradley said the two sides were within “touching distance” of an agreement following months of classroom walkouts by educators.

It comes as schools across the country returned after two days of industrial action amid the bitter pay dispute between educators, the Government and councils.

What is the new offer?

The new pay deal tabled by Scottish local council body COSLA covers a 28-month period from April 1, 2022, to July 31, 2024, and effects all teachers earning up to £80,000.

It includes:

  • A 7% increase back-dated to April 1, 2022
  • A 5% increase in effect from April 1, 2023
  • A 2% increase in effect from January 1, 2024
  • An agreement that the pay year will be aligned with the school year starting from August 2024

COSLA’s resources spokesperson councillor Katie Hagmann, who faced targeted strikes in her ward, said she hoped unions would take the offer to their members for a vote.

She said funding assurances from the Scottish Government had made it possible to make the revised offer.

“Council leaders are clear that it is in all of our interests, not least those of children, young people and families, to conclude the teachers’ pay negotiations as quickly as possible to bring back stability and certainty in our schools,” she said.

“Work is now required with our other trade union partners in local government, and we welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to work with us as those negotiations progress, in order to achieve an early resolution which avoids industrial action and ensures that all our local government staff receive a fair and affordable pay rise in 2023-24.”

The previous offer included an 11.5% increase over two years but it was rejected and described as “not good enough” by the union.

The EIS has been asking for a 10% pay rise, but that was previously described as “unaffordable” by Scotland’s education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said.

She called Friday’s pay deal “fair, affordable, and sustainable”.

“This historic offer, if accepted by unions, would see teacher pay increase by 33% from January 2018 to January 2024,” Somerville said.

“The Scottish Government is supporting this deal with total funding of over £320m across this year and next.

“This reflects our commitment to reach a fair agreement and avoid further disruption to children and young people’s education.

“I hope that teaching unions will now give their members the opportunity to consider this new offer and to suspend the planned industrial action next week. This would minimise any further disruption to learning, particularly in the run up to the SQA exam diet.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code