Martin Whitfield MSP met with members of the EIS union on their picket line in Prestonpans today to offer his support for the action they and colleagues from other teaching unions are taking in response to their pay offer from the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The head of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT), the negotiating forum for teachers’ pay in Scotland described the revised offer, made in November, which would see most teachers receive a 5% pay award, as ‘wholly unacceptable and divisive’.

Scotland’s biggest teaching union, the EIS, called it ‘an abject insult to Scotland’s hard-working teaching professionals’. The offer was rejected and resulted in unions pressing ahead with industrial action, which is set to continue through January and February.

Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

As a former teacher myself I know that the profession has no desire for strike action and the disruption which inevitably follows. However, the level of support for action among members of all the teaching unions demonstrates how angry teachers are with the current offer.

“As the EIS have said, the 5% offer currently on the table is effectively a real-terms pay cut for staff. Teachers are sick of being expected to put up with declining wages while working ever harder to meet the increasing challenges placed upon them.

“I agree with the teaching unions that the Scottish government must stop their spin and come up with a credible and fair pay settlement for all teachers that respects the contribution they make across Scotland.”