A meeting of the SNCT Joint Extended Joint Chairs (SSTA, EIS, COSLA and Government) took place on Monday 17 December.
COSLA and Scottish Government tabled a revised offer, which addressed the need for a universal offer for all teachers to be made. This offer still fell short of the SNCT pay claim and as anticipated Scottish Government was seeking agreement around a multi-year deal.
The teachers side made a number of suggestions, seeking to improve the value of the offer and both Scottish Government and COSLA have taken these suggestions away for consideration.
A further meeting of Extended Joint Chairs has been set for the afternoon of Thursday 20 December.
Today’s SNCT Joint Extended Joint Chairs (SSTA, EIS, COSLA and Government) was a deeply disappointing meeting. No new offer was made by Scottish Government and COSLA, despite both acknowledging the strength of the rejection of the previous offer by teachers in the Consultative Ballot. The union side expressed its anger and frustration at their stance.
We were informed that Government and COSLA are in ongoing discussions around next year’s Scottish Government ‘s budget, including the local government settlement, and they hoped to be in a position to make a fresh offer. The Scottish Budget will be announced on Wednesday 12 December and a meeting of the COSLA leaders is due to be convened on Friday 14 December. It was suggested by Scottish Government and COSLA that this offer could be in the form of a multi-year deal.
Following the close of the Consultative Ballot a meeting of the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs (SSTA, EIS, COSLA and Government) took place on Thursday 22 November and negotiations were re-opened. At the meeting, the reasons why the pay offer had been rejected by the vast majority of Scottish teachers and the merits of our pay claim were set out in very clear terms. The need for a much improved and undifferentiated offer was emphasised and the December “negotiating window” was the timescale we referenced.
The union side expressed its disappointment with the decision of the Government and COSLA to attempt to undermine the negotiations by issuing a letter directly to teachers with inaccurate information. The union side made it clear that this must not happen again. The union side also emphasised its intention to reach a negotiated settlement.
The SSTA conducted a Consultative Ballot on the 2018 Teachers’ Pay Offer. The SSTA Consultative Ballot closed on Tuesday 20 November. The majority of SSTA members participated in the ballot electronically with a small number of members requesting a postal ballot. Ballots were issued to 6,487 members with 4,729 members participating in the ballot. The response rate was 73%. 97% of respondents rejected the offer with only 3% prepared to accept the pay offer.
Emails inviting members to take part in the Consultative Ballot on the 2018 Pay Offer were sent out on Tuesday 30th October . The Consultative Ballot is open until 12pm on Tuesday 20th November 2018.
The Email invitations have been sent to members ‘preferred’ email address. Members who have not received an email should, in the first instance, check the junk/spam folder of their email account(s).
If the email is not there, please contact the SSTA office with their preferred email address by phone on 0131 313 7300 or by email
SSTA at the Teachers’ Pay Rally in Glasgow 27 October 2018
The National Teachers’ Pay Rally in Glasgow was a great success with the attendance going far beyond expectation. I would like to thank all members who were able to attend the rally in Glasgow and make the event such a success. I would also like to thank all the members who were unable to make the journey and sent messages of support. The Rally has sent a clear message to Government and COSLA that teachers need to be taken seriously. Well done to all.
The SSTA as part of the Teachers’ Side of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) submitted a 10% restorative pay claim. This claim was seen as a sensible and realistic pay claim following years of austerity measures that reduced considerably the ‘true’ value of teachers’ salaries. The SSTA estimated that an increase in the region of 23% would be needed to return teachers’ salaries to comparable levels.
It is worth reminding ourselves of other damaging measures taken over the last number of years by the Government and local authorities (COSLSA). These measures have impacted unfairly upon the salary and career prospects of teachers. These are often forgotten when discussing teachers’ pay.
Classroom Teachers – The removal of the Chartered Teacher scale prevented teachers, who wanted to remain focused on the classroom, and access salaries up to £44,727. This together with the constant demand for educational change has resulted in never ending workload making teaching a very unattractive career choice for new graduates.
Pay Talks Terminated
The SNCT Teachers’ Side rejected the pay offer made by the employers (COSLA) on the 18 September. At the meeting of the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs (EIS, SSTA, COSLA and Scottish Government) the Government officials asked if there was the possibility of further negotiations. A range of issues were raised by the union side and another meeting was arranged for 4 October 2018.
At the meeting on 4 October Government Officials stated that the offer was a ‘fair and generous’ pay offer and there was to be no further offer or any grounds for further negotiation. COSLA confirmed that it was not prepared to find additional funds to help further negotiations. It was quite clear that two/thirds of those at the negotiation table had no intention of further negotiation to address the restoration of teacher pay levels.
The union side was extremely disappointed (to put it mildly) with this development especially as the offer had been formally rejected on 18 September. The unions had regarded the offer as being “derisory” in terms of the 3% offer across the board and “divisive” in relation to proposing changes to the main-grade scale whilst leaving promoted scales untouched. This was compounded by the fact that additional money (above the offer to teachers) had been found by the Government for funding both the Police and National Health Service professionals. Together with COSLA finding an additional £10m, from its own resources, to assist their pay offer to other Local Authority Staff only added insult to the disappointment.
Negotiations around the Teachers’ Pay Claim have shuddered to a halt after the Scottish Government and COSLA today refused to consider improvements to their previous offer. The Teachers’ Panel of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) had unanimously rejected the offer as being “derisory” in terms of the 10% claim and “divisive” in that it offered unpromoted teachers a slightly better deal than promoted members of the profession.
The constituent bodies of the teachers’ side will now consider the outcome of today’s talks, with member ballots being likely.
A spokesperson for the Teachers’ Side said, “We are extremely disappointed that both the Scottish Government and COSLA have rejected the proposals put them by the Teachers’ Side, which would have kept negotiations going, and have opted instead to end discussions. In a week when the Scottish Government found the money to pay upfront a 6.5% pay offer to Scottish Police officers, it now claims to be unable to find any additional money for teachers.”
Pay Offer Rejected
The Teachers’ Side of the SNCT met on the 18 September and all organisations present rejected the offer which had been made previously by the employers (COSLA). The Teachers’ Side regarded the offer as being “derisory” in terms of the 3% offer across the board and “divisive” in relation to proposing changes to the main-grade scale whilst leaving promoted scales untouched.
This meeting was followed by a meeting of the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs (EIS, SSTA, COSLA and Scottish Government) where the Teachers’ Side formally rejected the employer’s pay offer.
The offer was for 3% across all SNCT posts except for those earning £80,000 or above, whose increase would be limited to £1,600. In addition to the 3% pay increase COSLA also supported a Scottish Government proposal to amend the Main Grade Salary Scale by reducing the number of points from 6 to 5 with a higher starting and finishing point.
It was made clear that the 3% offer doesn’t come close to matching the ambition of the SNCT 10% claim for all members at all grades.
During the discussions reference was made to the OECD report ‘ Education at a Glance’ that indicated the average teachers’ salary was equivalent to £42,000 and that Scotland was one of only 5 countries where teachers’ pay has fallen, relative to graduate earnings, over the past decade.
The Teachers’ side were clear, also, that changes to only the main grade scale would be divisive. This is effectively a differentiated offer pay and this was not acceptable. The Teachers’ Side is willing to consider improvements to scale points but these would need to be financially equitable across all the scales.
Both Scottish Government and COSLA were asked to consider the Teachers’ Side response and to return to the next meeting. The SSTA will continue to negotiate in good faith, with both COSLA and Scottish Government, with the next negotiating meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs to take place on the 4 October. Members will be kept informed of any progress made at that meeting.
When the final pay offer is made SSTA will consult the membership on its views and the possibility of a formal ballot for industrial action. It is therefore, essential that member’s details are updated and accurate. Members can update their details by completing a form on the SSTA website at www.ssta.org.uk/updatedetails .
The latest meeting of the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs (EIS, SSTA, COSLA and Scottish Government) took place on 6 September and a revised pay offer was received from COSLA.
This offer is for 3% across all SNCT posts (as opposed to the previous pay offer of 2% for those above £36,500 and 3% for those below). This would apply to all teachers except for those earning £80,000 or above, whose increase would be limited to £1600. This offer would be backdated to April 2018 and is a single year offer. In addition to the 3% pay increase COSLA also supported a Scottish Government proposal to amend the Main Grade Salary Scale by reducing the number of points from 6 to 5 with a higher starting and finishing point (aimed, it was claimed, at addressing recruitment and retention issues).
The teachers’ side of the SNCT will consider the offer in more detail but the SSTA and EIS has already indicated its view that 3% falls well short of the 10% claim and is unlikely to be acceptable to members. It was also made clear that the SNCT 10% claim is for all members at all grades.
When a pay offer is made we will need to consult the membership on their views and the possibility of a formal ballot for industrial action. It is therefore, essential that member’s details are updated and accurate. Members can update their details by completing a form on the SSTA website at www.ssta.org.uk/updatedetails.
The SSTA will continue to negotiate in good faith with both COSLA and Scottish Government. A further negotiating meeting of the Extended Joint Chairs is scheduled for the 18th September, where the Teachers’ Side will respond formally to the offer. Further updates to follow.
Teachers’ Pay 2018 – Update – 20 April 2018
The latest meeting of the SNCT Extended Joint Chairs (EIS, SSTA, COSLA and Scottish Government) took place on Thursday 19 April. The teachers’ side were disappointed that the Scottish Government,at this stage, were not prepared to offer any additional funding after having said at the last meeting that it wished time to consider its position. At the last meeting on 27 March, COSLA (the employers) made a pay offer of 2% for those above £36,500 and 3% for those below.
The teachers’ side was not impressed with the lack of progress in making an important investment in education by attempting to resolve the teacher retention and recruitment crisis. Education is the Government’s priority and a resolution to 2018 pay award is essential to allow teachers to focus on teaching and learning.
A further meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday 16 May, but your negotiators left both the Scottish Government and COSLA in no doubt that they are not prepared to accept procrastination as a tactic from the management side and that the clock was very definitely ticking.
SSTA Rejects the COSLA Pay Offer – 28 March 2018
The SSTA is negotiating through the SNCT in progressing the 2018 pay claim. The Teachers’ Side submitted a pay claim of 10% for teachers at all grades to the SNCT on 8 February. COSLA (the employers) responded on 27 March by making a pay offer of 2% for those above £36,500 and 3% for those below (Colsa letter ‘2018 Pay Offer Letter to SNCT‘ ). The Teacher Side negotiators (SSTA and EIS) rejected the offer and the proposal for a differentiated pay deal. The Teachers’ Side was disappointed that a differentiated pay deal was offered despite a complete rejection of the proposal during the 2017 pay negotiations.
The employer’s offer made reference to ‘parity’ across all four of its bargaining groups and as a consequence fails to address the current teacher retention and recruitment crisis. It was equally disappointing that the COSLA offer was termed as its ‘best and final offer’. This would result in no scope for negotiation.
However, the SNCT awaits the response from the Scottish Government on the situation at its next meeting on 19 April. At this point it would be premature to seek the views of members on the employers offer as the negotiating process has yet to reach its conclusion. The SSTA is committed to try and reach a negotiated pay agreement and seek a package that retains the current teacher workforce and a process of restoration of teacher salaries.
Update on 2018 Pay Claim for Teachers – Retention, Recruitment and Restoration – 20 February 2018
The SSTA conducted a pay survey of members in December and published the findings on 23 January 2018.
The members survey highlighted the need for a substantial pay increase, the excessive workload placed upon teachers, the high number of members who had considered or are considering leaving the profession and the readiness of members to take industrial action. The survey confirmed the position of SSTA and the ‘pushing at every door’ for a substantial pay increase for teachers with ‘retention’ the priority.
The SSTA Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee met on 2 February 2018 to consider the information contained within the survey and submitted the following to the teachers’ side of Scottish Negotiating Committee Teachers (SNCT):
- First priority Retention
- Second priority Recruitment of teachers
- The restoration of teachers’ pay (20%+)
- A common % increase for all teachers at all grades
- Parity for unpromoted teachers with FE lecturers of £40,000+
- A major reduction in teacher workload
The teacher unions discussed their positions and agreed an SNCT Pay Claim at a meeting on 5 February 2018.
The claim was submitted to the management side (COSLA and Government) at a full SNCT meeting on Thursday 8 February 2018. The management side received the claim and teachers’ side are awaiting a response from COSLA/Government in early March.
The SSTA is working through the SNCT in progressing the 2018 pay claim and following the outcome of the negotiations the SSTA will be seeking the views of its members and the action they are prepared to take.
The SSTA will continue to lobby all sides to achieve a successful outcome and will continue to keep members informed of developments.