A Scottish teaching union has suspended its industrial action and urged members to accept a new pay offer.
The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union is to ballot members on a revised pay offer from local authority employers and the Scottish government. The union has recommended they accept the deal.
A special meeting of the EIS salaries committee, comprised of teachers from across Scotland, took place on Friday and it was unanimously agreed to ballot members. The online ballot runs until 10 March.
The general secretary of EIS, Andrea Bradley, said: “The view of our negotiators is that this deal represents the best that can be achieved in the current political and financial climate without a much more prolonged campaign of industrial action.”
The new offer will see teachers getting a 12.3% increase by April 2023, and it will rise to 14% by 2024.
She added: “It is through the determination and collective action of teachers and associated professionals across Scotland, led by EIS members, that we have improved this pay offer from an initial 2% for the current year to 7% for the current financial year, with additional increases of 5% and then 2% within the following financial year.
“This has been a long dispute which has been challenging for all concerned. Teachers have taken strike action as a last resort, and that strike action has delivered an improved pay offer that the EIS can credibly put to its members with a recommendation to accept. It is now for our members to decide whether to accept this offer, and it is our recommendation that they should do so.”
Responding to the decision by the EIS union to suspend strike action while the ballot is carried out, the Scottish education secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “I welcome the EIS’s decision to suspend industrial action while they consider this offer.
“This will end the disruption to learning for our children and young people particularly in the run-up to exams.
“We have worked closely with the unions to compromise and have arrived at a deal which is fair, affordable, and sustainable for everyone involved. The Scottish government is supporting this deal with over £320m of funding this year and next.
“I would urge teaching union members to accept this historic pay offer which would see teacher pay increase by 33% since January 2018.
“This is the best and final offer possible and recognises the invaluable contribution teachers make to the lives of our children and young people.”