Scottish teachers in dispute over pay with the Government will win, the president of the country’s biggest teaching union has said.
Staff have been in often fractious negotiations with ministers and local councils for months, resulting in multiple days of strikes and further action planned in the constituencies of key politicians.
There will also be targeted action in the constituencies of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, deputy first minister John Swinney, education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, and COSLA’s resources spokesperson councillor Katie Hagmann.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Scottish Labour conference in Edinburgh, EIS president Andrene Bamford said teachers remain committed to pushing for a 10% pay rise.
“I’ve been all around the country, and I can tell you right now – if there’s any doubt in the room – EIS members’ resolve has absolutely showed no signs of slowing down, it is as strong as it ever was.
“I am fully convinced that we will win this – and we will win this,” she said.
“We have to win this, because although it’s about pay, it’s about more than pay, it really is about education in its entirety.
“This fight is about raising the status of education, raising the status of education as an education system and raising the status of education as a profession.”
This month marks a year since teachers submitted their pay claim demanding an inflation-matching 10% rise.
The Scottish Government and COSLA initially offered a 2% pay settlement but have since increased it.
The latest offer would provide teachers with a rise of 6% for 2022-23 and 5.5% for 2023-24.
The EIS rejected it branding the deal as as “smoke and mirrors”.
The education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, whose constituency of Dunfermline will be targeted in further strikes, said the rise teachers were demanding was unaffordable.
Ms Bamford responded to Somerville’s assertion that no stone would be left unturned by saying: “She hasn’t even lifted a pebble.”
A survey of EIS members found just 15% of the about 16,500 respondents were satisfied with their workload, while 78% said they were rarely able to complete their work within working hours.