Teacher pay offer made with additional £156m funding to avert strikes

Educators across the country have walked out of classrooms over the past few months in a series of strikes.

New teacher pay offer with additional £156m Scottish Government funding made to avert strikes

A revised pay offer with additional funding of £156m from the Scottish Government has been made to teaching unions in a bid to avert the latest wave of strikes set to start next week.

Educators across the country have walked out of classrooms over the past few months in a series of strikes over a wage increase deal.

Most teachers will see their salaries rise by 11.5% in April if it is accepted, the Scottish Government said.

The revised deal, which is the fifth to be offered to unions, would mean an overall increase of more than £5,000 over two years for the 70% of classroom teachers who are at the top of their main grade pay scale.

The latest offer, agreed by the Scottish Government and COSLA, is a 6% increase for all staff earning up to £80,000 from April 1 2022 and £4,800 for all those earning in excess of £80,000 in the year 2022-2023.

In the year 2023-2024, educators would see a 5.5% increase for all staff earning up to £80,000 from April 1 2023 and £4,400 for all those earning in excess of £80,000.

The Scottish Government’s Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Teachers make an invaluable contribution to the lives of our children and young people. This significant offer, if accepted by unions, would see teacher pay increase by almost 30% since January 2018.

“While union demands for an in-year 10% increase are unaffordable within the Scottish Government’s fixed budget, we have looked for compromise and we have arrived at a deal that is fair, affordable, and sustainable for everyone involved.

“The Scottish Government is supporting this new offer with additional funding of £156m. This is on top of the £50m that we have already provided to local authorities in support of an enhanced pay offer for teachers.

“The offer is being made at a time of extraordinary financial pressure on the Scottish Government budget. Difficult decisions will have to be made to free up the required resources. This reflects our commitment to reach a fair agreement and avoid further disruption to children and young people’s education.

“I have written to the unions asking that their members are given the opportunity to consider this new offer, which is the fifth to be tabled. While they do so, I have asked that they suspend any planned industrial action. This would minimise any further disruption to learning, particularly in the run up to the SQA exam diet.”

COSLA’s resources spokesperson councillor Katie Hagmann said: “Given the funding assurances received from the Scottish Government, leaders have agreed to submit a revised offer to the trade unions tonight.

“COSLA leaders are clear that it is in all of our interests, not least those of children, young people and families, to conclude the teachers’ pay negotiations as quickly as we can to bring back stability and certainty in our schools. 

“We are determined to provide a fair and affordable pay offer to all our employees, including teachers. In that regard, following today’s meeting leaders agreed to mandate me to take a refreshed offer to the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and we hope that this is acceptable to them.”

The EIS will on Wednesday hold special meetings of its salaries committee and executive committee.

The union said it would discuss a response to the offer, and any potential implications for the planned industrial action in schools across Scotland.