Teachers strikes to go ahead as Government talks fail to bring new offer

Members of three unions will walk out next week after negotiations failed to find an agreement.

Scottish teachers’ strikes set to go ahead as Government talks fail to bring new offer STV News

Teachers will walk out of classrooms as planned next week after talks with the Scottish Government failed to reach an agreement on a new pay settlement.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), NASUWT and SSTA organisations will strike on January 10 and 11 over the dispute after rejecting an offer that would have seen the lowest paid members receive a 6.85% uplift.

Education minister Jamie Hepburn described that offer as “very fair,” but union bosses have continued to push for 10% amid soaring inflation.

However, Des Morris, EIS salaries convener, said there had been “no movement” between the two sides during a meeting on Friday, adding the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), which represents the unions in talks, were now preparing for strikes.

It means schools across the country are likely to be closed to all students.

Mr Morris, who is also chair of the teachers’ side of the SNCT, said: “Trade unions remain committed to reaching a fair, negotiated pay settlement for Scotland’s teaching professionals.

“In the absence of any new offer, the planned strike action for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week will proceed as scheduled.

“A planned SNCT meeting has now been brought forward to Monday of next week – at the union side’s request – in the hope of advancing discussions towards a new and improved offer to teachers.”

Hepburn stressed rising inflation meant the Scottish Government budget was now worth less than when it was set, meaning there was no “fiscal latitude” in which to increase the offer.

Speaking on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland, he said: “Discussions will continue, but this is a fair and fundamentally an affordable offer and it would ensure that teachers in Scotland remain by some measure the best paid teaching staff in the UK.

“We want to make sure we have that edge for teachers in Scotland and the offer we have got on the table would ensure that.”

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