Fresh pay offer made in bid to avoid teacher strikes across Scotland

It would see the starting salary for a fully qualified teacher reaching £35,650.

A new pay offer has been tabled to teaching unions in a bid to avert strike action.

Teachers across Scotland are set to take part in their first national walk out over pay for almost 40 years.

It would see an increase of up to 6.85%, with the starting salary for a fully qualified teacher reaching £35,650.

Those at the top end of the pay scale will receive a 5% increase, taking their salary to £44,453.

Teachers moving from probation into a fully qualified post would gain an annual salary increase of 27%.

The planned strike on Thursday was set after the Educational Institute of Scotland, the country’s largest teaching union, rejected a 5% pay rise offer from the Scottish Government, describing it as “wholly inadequate”.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville described the new deal as a “fair offer”.

Somerville also urged union leaders to postpone plans for industrial action and to consider the new offer made by the Government.

“This is a fair offer which recognises that the cost of living crisis is the priority, with higher increases for staff on lower salaries,” she said.

“This is the fourth offer that has been made. In the same time, EIS have not changed their request for a 10% pay increase – even for those on the highest incomes.

“I have been clear that we have limited room for manoeuvre. The financial situation for the Scottish Government is challenging and additional money for teacher pay means reduced public services elsewhere.

“In these challenging times, it is important we focus our attention on those who are most impacted by the cost of living crisis, as well as ensuring fairness to all public sector workers.

“I would urge leadership to postpone plans for industrial action and consider this new offer.”

COSLA’s resources spokesperson Katie Hagmann said the offer is “fair and affordable”, while recognising the cost of living crisis.

“Scottish local government values its entire workforce, of which teachers are a key part,” said Hagmann.

“We have this afternoon made a revised fourth offer to our trade union colleagues.

“It is fair, affordable and recognises that the cost-of-living crisis is the priority, with higher increases for staff on lower pay points.

“This is in line with the offers made to all other parts of the public sector.”

Hagmann said the offer also ensures that additional pressure is not placed on other parts of the local government workforce.

She said: “We have worked extremely hard and closely with the Scottish Government to ensure such a revised offer could be brought forward and made today.

“I would call on our trade union colleagues to recognise that these are extremely challenging financial times we are operating in and we all need to make decisions with a full understanding of the consequences.

“Our offer ensures that we don’t place additional pressure on any other parts of our hardworking workforce and the essential services they deliver and importantly, it protects the best interests of children and young people.

“We hope our trade union partners will now postpone Thursday’s strikes.”

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