As members will be acutely aware, Scotland’s teachers are still awaiting their pay settlement for the year 2021- 2022. This was due to be settled and paid by April 2021. More than a year after the pay claim was submitted, the continuing procrastination of COSLA and the Scottish Government continues to be a source of frustration for Scotland’s teachers.
At the time of printing, EIS negotiators are seeking to lever an improved offer from COSLA on the back of the members ballot result.
There is a considerable time pressure at play. The impending local government elections will create a significant hiatus in any ongoing negotiations as it can take months for COSLA to organise its political leadership following elections and the formation of new administrations. Securing the 2021 pay deal to ensure that salary scales are raised and that members see some money in their accounts is an acute imperative. As ever, ultimately it will be for members to decide on any improved offer.
The EIS Salaries Committee, however, is very aware that the current cost of living crisis is creating a huge challenge unlikely to be met by any settlement of the 2021 claim, which predates the current situation. Accordingly it has agreed an EIS claim of 10% for 2022/23. Clearly this is not a figure which will easily be achieved (public sector pay policy for next year equates to around 1.25% for teachers and associated professionals) which is why a substantial campaign will be required, beginning with a focus on the local elections. The creation and building of a vigorous pay campaign is not a new experience for the EIS, of course, and we will draw on our experience to again win a fair deal for teachers
17 December (morning)
The EIS Salaries Committee agreed that a claim based on the EIS position should be intimated to COSLA without delay. It was also agreed that the EIS would seek timeous settlement with the aim of inclusion of the subsequent pay rise in April 2021.
17 December (afternoon)
The SNCT Teachers’ Panel unanimously agreed the SNCT Teachers’ Side Pay Claim for 2021. This was based on a narrative claim, indicating that an offer in the region of 3%-5% would be acceptable to the Teachers’ Side.
18 December Pay Claim Lodged
SNCT Teachers’ Side Pay Claim for 2021 was lodged with Councillor Gail Macgregor, Chair, Employers’ Side SNCT.
COSLA’s formal offer received in writing.
- A 2% uplift for those earning up to £40,000; and
- A 1% rise for those earning over £40,000 with a cap of £800;
Meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs. Lengthy discussions on the pay claim and subsequent offer. COSLA offer formally rejected by the Teachers’ Side. All Sides agreed to reflect on the discussions.
The pre-election period for the Scottish Parliament Elections begins (purdah).
Meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs. No improved offer. COSLA Leaders seeking a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes.
24 to 26 May
The new Scottish Cabinet appointments are made.
Meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs. No improved offer from COSLA was made at the meeting. It was reported that COSLA leaders have written to Cabinet Secretary Kate Forbes and Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison requesting a meeting to discuss local government funding. The Teachers’ Side noted COSLA’s position and made clear that the on-going delay was very disappointing. COSLA was also urged to exhibit more urgency in improving its offer and reaching a pay settlement.
The SNCT Joint Chairs and Joint Secretaries from the Teachers’ Side and Scottish Government received an email from the Employers’ Side Joint Secretary regarding the Pay Claim 2021.
- Offer an immediate payment of the current pay offer as an interim settlement;
- Continue negotiations to reach agreement on a two or three year settlement for 2021/22 to 2022/23 or 2023/24;
Meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs. No improvement to the 1.22% pay offer.
30 September Declaration of Dispute
Full meeting of the SNCT. The Teachers’ Side of the SNCT declared a formal dispute with respect to the failure to agree the 2021 Pay Claim. The declaration of a dispute was a direct result of the delay in an improved offer being made by COSLA following an extended period of negotiation.
The SNCT Joint Chair received a revision from the Employers’ Side Joint Secretary regarding the Pay Claim2021 which included a non-recurring element.
- A 1.22% increase at all SNCT pay points.
- A back dating of the implementation date of the pay award to be effective from 1 January 2021.
A special meeting of the EIS Salaries Committee rejected the revised pay offer from COSLA. Later in the day, SNCT Teachers’ Panel rejected the revised pay offer by unanimous decision.
Meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs. At this meeting, the Teachers’ Side rejected the revised offer and made clear its position and the views expressed at the Panel meeting. Representatives emphasised the urgent need for an improved and reasonable pay offer from the Employers’ Side.
Finance Secretary’s Parliamentary Statement on the 2022-2023 Scottish Budget.
EIS Salaries Committee agree to hold a special Salaries Committee meeting on 16 December 2021 if any revised offer is made by COSLA.
COSLA Leaders meet and agree to make the following revised offer.
- A 1% increase at all SNCT pay points effective from 1 April 2021.
- A further 1% increase at all SNCT pay points effective from 1 January 2022. (Combined with the earlier increase this equates to a compounded increase equal to 2.01% on the rates at 31 March 2021 when the 1 January 2022 element takes effect)
- A one-off non-recurring payment of £100 to each SNCT member of staff (prorated for part-time) for all SNCT members in post on the date the offer is agreed and based on working hours at that time.
- A cap of £800 for those earning £80K and above.
The EIS Salaries Committee unanimously decided to reject the revised offer. The Committee also decided to conduct a ballot amongst EIS members covered by the provisions of the SNCT in January 2022 with a recommendation that the offer be rejected. The Committee also decided to initiate processing of the 2022 pay claim.
EIS opens Consultative Ballot on pay offer, with recommendation to reject.
Consultative Ballot closes. Result is an overwhelming rejection of the offer, with 98% of members voting to reject on a turnout of 53%.
EIS Salaries Committee meets to consider ballot result, and to plan its next steps. Committee also agrees next pay claim, for the year 2022-2023, to be pursued with COSLA and the Scottish Government through the SNCT as a matter of urgency.