Teachers across Scotland on edge of strike ahead of ISE poll results

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Scotland’s largest teachers’ union is counting the votes after voting for striking members across the country.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) expects to receive the result on Thursday and its executive committee will then meet to review it and agree on next steps.

The teachers’ dispute centers on salaries after the union called a 5% increase “wholly insufficient”.

The vote follows a recent advisory poll, in which 94% of IST members rejected an offer of 5% pay and 91% said they would go on strike.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Scottish Government said they were disappointed the bid was rejected.

Earlier, EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said: “The devastating impact of the rising cost of living, coupled with the UK Government’s mismanagement of the economy, is impoverishing millions of across the country.

“With the prices of food, fuel, clothing, housing and heating continuing to soar, Scottish teachers deserve much better than a pay offer which represents a deep pay cut in real terms. Despite the massive rejection of the latest pay offer by our members in a ballot some eight weeks ago, we are still awaiting a formal response and improved offer from COSLA and the Scottish Government.

“It shouldn’t take the heightened threat of strike action, or the reality of it, to achieve a just settlement, but unfortunately that’s where we are. Scottish teachers must now act for an improved settlement, delivering a crushing strike mandate that COSLA and the Scottish Government simply cannot ignore.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Strikes are in no one’s interest – let alone pupils, parents and carers who have already faced significant disruption over the past three years.

“This government has a strong record of supporting teachers and is proud to have the best paid workforce in the UK.

“It is disappointing that the unions have rejected the latest wage offer. Accepting the 5% offer would have meant teachers have received a cumulative pay rise of 21.8% since 2018.

“The Cabinet Secretary holds regular meetings with all teachers’ unions to discuss a range of issues, including pay. These meetings have taken place over the past two weeks.

“We are absolutely committed to supporting a fair pay offer for teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, the body that negotiates teachers’ pay and terms of service.

“It is up to the local authorities, as the employer, to make a revised salary offer.”

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