Over 25,000 teachers sign 'fair pay petition' after 'derisory' offer

Scotland's largest teaching union EIS said members would be willing to strike if they did not get a fair offer.

EIS deliver 25,000-signature petition to Scottish Government and COSLA demanding pay rise iStock

Scotland’s largest teacher union, EIS, delivered a ‘fair pay petition’ with over 25,000 signatures to the offices of the Scottish Government and COSLA on Friday.

Last month, the union rejected a 2.2% pay deal, saying its members would be willing to strike if they did not receive a fair offer, with the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers submitting a 10% pay claim on behalf of the profession.

In a letter to both the cabinet secretary for education, Shirley-Anne Somerville, and to the new COSLA lead, Councillor Katie Hagmann, EIS’s general secretary designate, Andrea Bradley, said: “Thousands of teachers and supporters have put their names to our Pay Attention petition, pledging their support for a fair pay settlement for teachers without further delay, to help protect teachers as essential public sector workers from the impact of rising inflation.

“The signatories of our petition are in no doubt that the significant real-terms pay cut offered by COSLA on behalf of employers last month, weeks after the date when teachers’ salaries should have seen an uplift, is far from acceptable in the current economic climate. 

“A delayed and derisory 2% offer comes nowhere near what is required to justly acknowledge what teachers have delivered throughout Covid and continue to deliver in response to ever-increasing demands and expectations upon them from all directions. 

“In fact, it is viewed as deeply insulting by our members.”

Ms Bradley added: “The large support that the EIS’s Pay Attention petition has gathered in a matter of weeks should leave both Scottish Government and COSLA in no doubt as to the strength of feeling amongst EIS members on the legitimacy of our pay claim and their willingness to escalate our campaign in support of it. We intend to be ballot ready come the autumn, if a fair settlement is not reached.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to supporting a fair pay offer for teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, the body that negotiates teachers’ pay and conditions of service. It is for local government, as the employer, to make any revised offer of pay.”