Mass demonstrations in Glasgow by teachers for fair pay deal
Over 30,000 demonstrators marched in Glasgow today, calling for the Scottish government and local government association to implement a fair pay deal for Scotland's teachers.
Fed up with Scottish government 'stonewalling' in negotiations, the Education Institute of Scotland organised a mass rally calling for the Scottish government to end austerity on teachers pay.
Addressing the Rally in George Square at the end of the march, EIS President Alison Thornton said, “Nine years of pay settlements under the public sector pay cap have resulted in the value of our take home pay being down by nearly 25%. The salaries of teachers in schools in Scotland are below the European average and those of other countries in the wider world. Our pupil contact hours are high, and we still work an average of 11 hours of unpaid overtime each week to deal with the demands of the job. No wonder teacher recruitment and retention is in a crisis situation. Austerity doesn’t work, quality public services need proper funding and by investing in teachers then there is investment in education and our young people and their futures.”
Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard, added that: "Saturday's huge march and rally shows Scotland's teachers won't be bullied into accepting another real terms pay cut by the SNP."
"John Swinney's attempts to sow discord between the EIS and their members has backfired spectacularly with teachers now more resolved than ever to keep up their campaign."
"Labour MSPs in parliament have been leading the fight for restoring the pay and conditions of Scotland’s teachers. I was honoured to address the rally and will continue to stand up for teachers inside and outside Holyrood."
"It's time for Mr Swinney to put a fair pay deal on the table to provide teachers with the respect and due recognition they deserve."
In an attempt to go over the heads of unions, the Scottish government and COSLA have written to individual teachers in an attempt to gain support for their pay offer of 3 percent, which unions have labeled as "derisory".
A spokesman for local government body, Cosla, said: "Following a vote, council leaders took the decision to jointly, with the Scottish government, write to teachers spelling out the value and merits of the pay offer currently on the table."
"This joint letter will be written with input and advice from the appropriate professional associations within councils."