PAY DISPUTE SETTLED

Teachers strike is called off

West Dunbartonshire teachers who campaigned for the new deal.

By Bill Heaney

Parents and local authorities heaved a heavy sigh of relief yesterday when the national Council of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) agreed in principle to recommend acceptance of a new pay offer to Scotland’s teachers.

After months of talks and threats, at a meeting on Thursday, a revised offer was proposed by the Scottish Government.

A letter confirming the detail of this offer was received by the EIS this morning, ahead of today’s meeting of EIS Council.

Following discussion, EIS Council overwhelmingly agreed to recommend acceptance of the new proposed offer to Scotland’s teachers.

As a result of this recommendation, a planned statutory ballot for strike action – set to begin on Monday – has now been suspended.

The EIS will instead open a consultative ballot of its members on the new offer with a recommendation to accept.

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan, pictured above with campaigning teachers, said: “The EIS launched the Value Education, Value Teachers campaign in January last year, with the aim of securing a fair pay settlement for Scotland’s teachers.

“Throughout the campaign, it became increasingly clear that – in addition to pay – teachers also have serious concerns about issues such as the recruitment and retention of teachers, professional development, workload, and the level of support for pupils with Additional Support Needs.”

“These issues then became a factor in the ongoing discussions via the SNCT.”

Mr Flanagan added: “The new proposed offer outlined in today’s letter from the Scottish Government represents a positive attempt to address these issues.

“It offers a three-year pay settlement of 3% from April 2018, 7% from April 2019, and 3% from April 2020, for a compounded total increase of 13.51% over three years.

“It also includes additional commitments aimed at tackling workload, supporting teacher professional development, and enhancing the teacher leadership programme.

“Taking all of these elements together, it represents a package that the EIS is now recommending to Scotland’s teachers.”

Mr Flanagan said: “This offer represents a significant success for Scotland’s teachers, and for Scottish education.

“It has been secured through strong campaigning under the Value Education, Value Teachers banner, and delivered through the committed collective stand taken by Scotland’s teachers.”

“By standing together and remaining united, our members have secured a strong deal for Scotland’s teachers which will also deliver stability and security for Scottish education.”

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