Members Bulletin - 27 June 2022

No Improved Pay Offer for 2022-2023

The Extended Joint Chairs of the SNCT (COSLA, Scottish Government, SSTA and EIS) met on Wednesday 18 May to receive a pay offer from the employers for 2022-2023. The 2% undifferentiated increase on all SNCT pay points effective from 1 April 2022 was rejected by the SNCT teachers’ side negotiators.
 
The employers promised a revised pay offer within a couple of weeks, after the Scottish Government’s Resource Spending Review announcement on 31 May 2022. No new pay offer has been made. As we approach the end of term there is little likelihood of an improved offer until the start of the new session. The SNCT teachers’ side met last week and agreed to send a letter to convey the anger and frustration over the failure of COSLA to make an improved pay offer. View the letter to COSLA.

At the SNCT Teachers’ Side meeting the teacher unions in Scotland have committed to move forward together to achieve the SNCT Teacher Side pay claim of 10% . This will undoubtably mean ballots for industrial action in the Autumn unless the employers and the Scottish Government take teachers seriously and move quickly to pay teachers what they deserve.

Invest in Education - Invest in Teachers – 10% NOW

"The Behaviour of COSLA and the Government towards Teachers could have generational consequences."

The SNCT is the body that regularly brings Teachers, Councils and the Scottish Government together to discuss pay and conditions. The date for the Annual General Meeting was agreed a year ago for Tuesday 21 June 2022. This meeting was critical to ensure changes to conditions of service were agreed and to seek a way forward in agreeing a pay deal.
 
Last week, COSLA belatedly intimated that they didn't feel ready for the AGM. The Scottish Government hastily agreed to a postponement. Over the last few years, the excuses have ranged from "there is an election coming" to "we've just had an election". Frankly, the impression given is "we just can't be bothered."
 
The Teachers' Side decided to meet separately as the issues at stake are approaching a tipping point. The Teachers' side expressed anger at the dismissive nature of the behaviour of COSLA and the Scottish Government.
 
This behaviour by those who employ and fund teachers tells us that we are not a priority. With major change on the horizon, teachers are being treated like minor players.
 
After a deliberate decade of austerity, we have teachers regularly taking money away from family budgets to pay for food, equipment and even clothing for their pupils. 
 
It now seems to be a deliberate strategy that COSLA and the Scottish Government have decided that this level of goodwill and commitment means teachers' compassionate nature identifies them as soft target for cuts. 
 
Teachers, essential workers during a worldwide pandemic, are only incidental employees who deserve a pay cut and a massive loss in living standards when the danger has subsided. The SSTA are committed to fighting this. 
 
The Attainment Challenge exhorts us all to 'ensure that everyone is encouraged to be the best that they can be.' This is not a philosophy that extends to teachers from their employers. It is not a lived value by neither COSLA nor the Scottish Government.
 
We challenge COSLA and the Scottish Government to change course immediately, otherwise the generational consequences that follow will be their responsibility."

 
Paul Cochrane, Convener SSTA Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee

The School Teachers’ Contract and Time

All teachers, including Headteachers, have a legally binding contract of employment that has been agreed at the SNCT. The contract for a 35-hour week must be adhered to and is not optional. All teachers have the legal right not to exceed the maximum and it is unlawful for a teacher to be asked to work beyond the limit.
 
The 35-hour week consists of

  • Assigned classes and cover for absent colleagues - maximum of 22.5 hours per week
  • Preparation and correction - allocation of 7.5 hours
  • Collegiate Time (other activities) - remaining 5 hours a week - allocation to duties determined by the school’s Working Time Agreement

 
Further information and guidance on Collegiate activities.
 

Invest in Education - Invest in Teachers – 10% NOW

Published on 27 June 2022 - Information for Members