Teachers in Scotland reject latest pay offer

Scottish teachers have rejected the latest pay offer from councils.

The teachers’ panel of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) unanimously rejected the deal on Tuesday.

The initial offer from local authority body Cosla would see a 2% uplift from August this year and a further increase of 1% from May of next year.

The new pay offer’s implementation date, according to the SNCT, is August 1, with the panel calling for focused negotiations to resolve the issue.

Cosla said any increase would result in “job losses and service cuts” due to funding from the Scottish Government.

Des Morris, joint chair of the panel, said the offer “simply does not begin to address the significant decline” in the value of teacher pay since 2008.

He said: “Worse than this, had this offer been accepted, the reality is that teachers’ pay would have been eroded further.

“The unanimous rejection of this unsatisfactory offer, by the SNCT teachers’ panel, sends a clear message to both Cosla and the Scottish Government that commitment and effort will be required to ensure that a pay settlement can be agreed by the August 1st implementation date previously agreed by all parties.

“The SNCT teachers’ panel remains committed to swift negotiations, however it is imperative that any settlement agreed must mark a step forward in restoring the pay of teachers across Scotland.”

A spokesman for Cosla said: “We are disappointed that the teachers’ panel of the SNCT has rejected the pay offer made by Cosla yesterday – which is in line with the Scottish Government’s public sector pay policy.

“We remain committed to doing the best by our entire workforce, including teachers, who all deliver essential local services in every community across Scotland.

“Whilst we understand our trade union’s role in seeking the best deal possible for their members, this year’s local government settlement from Scottish Government means that our hands are tied and going any further will mean job losses and service cuts.

“Councils have no flexibility in terms of teacher numbers, which further restricts any offers that can be made.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government values the hard work that our teaching workforce put in for our learners and we remain absolutely committed to ensuring they receive a fair pay deal.

“Teacher pay is a matter for the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) and talks will continue with unions with a view to reaching an agreement which ensures a sustainable deal for all involved.”