Swinney bids to ward off teacher’s strike with revised pay offer

A protest in Glasgow last year - where teachers claimed wages have fallen in real terms by a fifth.  Now they have ballotted for strike.
A protest in Glasgow last year - where teachers claimed wages have fallen in real terms by a fifth. Now they have ballotted for strike.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney today tried to avert a teacher’s strike with a revised pay offer of 12 per cent by April next year.

Teachers have ballotted for strike action following what was said to be the Scottish Government’s earlier failure to produce an acceptable deal - the EIS has been demanding an increase of ten per cent in a single year.

The union has told the BBC that while negotiations will be suspended once the ballot is underway it will listen to any fresh approach before that happens.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said teachers’ patience is now exhausted after negotiations on a claim that was due to be settled last April.

John Swinney said: “In light of concerns raised about the position of the significant number of teachers already at the top of the main grade pay scale, the Scottish Government is prepared to improve its offer around main grade restructuring and revaluation of all other SNCT pay scales.

“The Scottish Government will provide the extra funding, which is in addition to the Local Government settlement.

“Under this scenario, teachers would receive a minimum nine per cent increase between January 2018 and April 2019, and a further three per cent rise in April 2020”.

He added this showed the SNP administration’s commitment to recruit and retain teachers, and urged teaching unions to consider the offer favourably.

Mr Swinney said: “He added: “I made this proposal to the EIS on Thursday.

“It is an enhanced offer and I will ask Cosla to agree this and to formally offer it to unions after January 25.

“I believe this must be put to teachers for their consideration.

“I welcome the agreement by EIS to allow further time to reach an agreement.

“Industrial action is in no one’s interests not least our children and young people.

“That has been my focus and will continue to be until this resolved”.