Welcome to SEJ Digital December 2021
Concerns growing over pay
The time is fast approaching when teacher representatives will submit a pay claim for next year through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers. Yet, we are still awaiting a pay settlement for this year which is now 9 months overdue. Teachers are well aware of the economic situation, and the pressures brought to bear on public finance by the pandemic. But we also know our worth, and can see the pay settlements that have been paid to other groups of workers – in both the public and private sectors – over the past year.
Last December, when we submitted our, very measured, pay claim for 2021-2022, the Consumer Price Index measured inflation at 0.4%. It is now at least ten times that amount, at 4% and still rising. Yet our employers and the Scottish Government continue to offer only a meagre 1.22% pay increase, clearly well below the rate of inflation, to Scotland’s teachers and associated professionals.
This is scant reward for the Herculean efforts of teachers over the past year – efforts that have been repeatedly lauded by politicians at all levels and of all political persuasions as absolutely vital to the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.
COSLA and the Scottish Government must be aware that, the longer they drag their feet, the more the cost of living will rise and the more that teachers will become disillusioned and angry over what is being offered on pay. It is time for them to put their money where their mouth is and demonstrate that they truly value education and value teachers.
As we approach the Winter holiday period, and despite all the challenges that we all continue to face, the SEJ would like to offer all our readers good tidings for the Festive Season. We hope that you will be able to enjoy a good break with loved ones, and wish you all the very best in 2022.