SNP accused of undervaluing teachers on 'World Teachers Day' by unions

The Scottish Government and has come under fire from teachers after "walking away" from ongoing negotiations over teachers' pay.

Talks between Scotland's largest teaching union, the EIS, and the Scottish government and local authority governing body, COSLA, have broken down after the later refused to increase their pay offer to teachers.

A recent OECD report revealed that Scotland was one of only five OECD countries where teachers’ pay had fallen, relative to comparable professional salaries, over the past decade. The union has claimed that this was a result of conscious political decisions which "undervalued education and undervalued teachers".

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “World Teacher Day is a celebration of the importance of education, and of the vital role of teachers in educating the young people who are the future of society. However, in Scotland, the Scottish Government and COSLA have marked World Teacher Day by walking away from talks with teacher unions on a fair pay settlement."

“The reality is that Scotland’s teachers are some of the most overworked and lowest paid of any country within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The recent OECD report Education at a Glance highlighted that Scotland is one of the few countries where teachers’ pay has been cut, in real terms, over the past decade. The report also highlighted that the average pay for a teacher across OECD countries is equivalent to over £42,000 per year while, in Scotland, pay for a class teacher maxes out at £36,480."

"That is why Scotland’s teachers feel so undervalued, and explains the current crisis in teacher recruitment and retention right across the country. Scotland’s teachers, pupils and the Scottish education system deserves far better – it is time for the Scottish Government to truly Value Education and Value Teachers.”

Education Secretary, John Swinney, said the Scottish government "remained very happy to continue discussions with trade unions in securing a negotiated outcome".

"The Scottish government has worked with Cosla to put in place the best pay deal possible for 2018-19. This includes the Scottish government contributing an additional £35m for teachers' pay." said Swinney.

"This will result in all teachers on the main grade scale receiving at least a 5% increase, with some teachers receiving up to 11% in one year in conjunction with annual progression."

"The offer matches or betters other offers in the public sector in Scotland, for example 6.5% for police officers over 31 months."

"We firmly believe that it is generous and fair and would encourage teachers to consider it favourably."

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