Scotland's largest teachers' union votes to strike over pay offer

The majority of EIS members voted for industrial action and also rejected a 5% pay rise offer from COSLA.

Scotland’s largest teachers’ union EIS votes to strike over pay offer iStock

Scotland’s largest teachers’ union has voted in favour of strike action and to reject a 5% pay offer.

A majority of 91% of EIS union members have voted for the industrial action with 94% voting in rejection of the current offer of a 5% pay rise from COSLA, the governing body for local authorities.

Turnout for the ballot was 78%.

The union had urged members to vote Yes to industrial action and in rejection of the current pay rise offer of 5% as a result of the cost of living crisis.

The campaign also raises complaints over teachers excessive workload, which the union says is “causing burn-out and turning good people off teaching”.

COSLA has been accused by the EIS of playing politics with teachers’ pay.

The union said: “COSLA is seeking to hold down teachers’ pay by sidelining sectoral bargaining and linking our pay increase to that of workers in other bargaining groups whose employment is completely different from that of teachers– COSLA’s ‘One Workforce’ agenda in reality undermines genuine negotiation and imposes pay restraint.”

The EIS continued: “We have a phenomenal result from our consultative ballot, announced just minutes ago. 91% have voted for strike action in pursuit of a better pay offer, with 94% overall voting to reject 5%. Turnout a threshold-smashing 78% Thank you to all members who voted!”

The union say they will now move forward with preparations for a statutory ballot for strike action in pursuit of their pay claim.

EIS President Andrene Bamford said: “Our members have responded magnificently throughout our pay campaign so far. They have voted in huge numbers in the consultative ballot, and have made their feelings crystal clear.

“As we move ahead with the statutory ballot, we will need every member to step up again and vote for strike action. The government’s anti-trade union laws are designed to frustrate collective trade union action and to make achieving a legal mandate for strike action extremely difficult.”

STV News have contacted COSLA for comment.

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