Scottish school strikes have been cancelled by the EIS after its members overwhelmingly voted in favour of accepting a new pay offer.
The union confirmed that of those balloted, 90% of respondants on an 82% turnout chose to accept the offer from local government body Cosla and the Scottish government. The offer includes teachers receiving a 7% rise backdated to April 2022, as well as a further 5% at the start of this financial year, and a 2% increase in January 2023.
It comes after EIS members staged a walkout in November 2022, which was the biggest Scottish education strike in decades. Subesquent rolling strikes had been taking place across the country before the improved pay offer was made.
EIS General Secretary Andrea Bradley said: “The acceptance of this offer will mean that, for most teachers, their pay will increase by 12.3% by next month in comparison to current pay levels. The total current package will amount to a 14.6% increase in pay for most teachers by January 2024.”
Ms Bradley added: “While it does not meet our aspirations in respect of a restorative pay settlement for Scotland’s teachers, it is the best deal that can realistically be achieved in the current political and financial climate without further prolonged industrial action.
“It compares favourably with recent pay settlements across the public sector, and does provide pay certainty for Scotland’s teachers for the next 16 months until the next pay settlement is scheduled to be delivered in August 2024.”
While EIS, the largest teaching union in Scotland, has voted to accept the offer alongside the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA), the teaching union NASUWT is the only union continuing to hold out on accepting the deal describing the offer as “paltry”, but will still put it to members. However, the AHDS, which represents headteachers and deputies, has signaled that it will accept the offer meaning that it is likely to pass.
The cancellation of widespread rolling strikes due to take place this month by the EIS was welcomed by Scottish education secretary Shirley Anne-Somerville. She said: “It is the most generous offer to teachers in more than 20 years and one that is fair, affordable and sustainable for everyone involved.
“Teachers in Scotland are already the best paid in the UK and this deal will mean a salary rise of £5,200 in April for most teachers, and a cumulative rise of 33% since January 2018. A resolution to this dispute and an end to the threat of further strike disruption in our schools will be a huge relief for children, young people, parents, carers, and teachers too.”