Scottish education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said “no new offer” for teachers would come from the Scottish government following talks with education unions on Friday.
It comes as the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union, who represent around 80% of teachers in Scotland, is set to conclude 16 days of rolling strike action on Monday, February 6; as part of their 10% pay campaign.
Teachers have previously been offered a 5% pay increase on four different occasions, which members have rejected resulting in one of the largest teachers strikes in Scotland in three decades.
Following a meeting with all of Scotland’s teaching unions on Friday, Somerville said demands for 10% was not affordable within the Scottish government’s fixed budget.
She added: “While four offers have been made to date, these have been rejected by teaching unions. Further compromise is clearly required in order to secure a fair and sustainable settlement.
“Today’s discussion was focused on progressing opportunities for compromise. There was a shared understanding that a new offer would not be made.
“Only COSLA as the employer, can make a new pay offer, through the structures of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for teachers.”
On Thursday, the EIS claimed it was within the First Minister’s power to end the dispute.
EIS salaries convener Des Morris said, “While the EIS Salaries Committee very much shares the First Minister’s ‘hope’ that a resolution to the pay dispute can be reached ‘soon’, we would also point out that the ability to settle the dispute is very much within the First Minster’s power.
“The only thing that will settle this dispute is an improved offer to Scotland’s teachers, one that is both fair and affordable to them, which will involve additional new money from the Scottish government. This is what was done to settle disputes with other local government workers.
“It is the First Minister who has ultimate control over the purse strings so, if she wishes this dispute to be settled soon, the First Minister should authorise the Cabinet Secretary and her officials to release the comparatively modest additional funding needed to end this dispute.”
Mr Morris said that “little or no” progress had been made over pay in the last several months and claimed there were no further meetings of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) planned.
Mr Morris added: “As ever, the EIS remains ready and willing to re-enter discussions with the Scottish government and Scottish local authorities to discuss a new pay offer for teachers.
“We are not, however, willing to continue discussing the same offer that has now been rejected by teachers twice.
“The Scottish government and COSLA must come up with an improved offer to allow pay discussions to progress towards an agreement that genuinely reflects both the soaring cost of living and the value of Scotland’s teachers.”