The SSTA conducted a formal pay ballot of members on the latest pay offer from the employers (COSLA). Members voted overwhelmingly to accept and brought the SSTA pay dispute and further industrial action to an end.
The SSTA members returned a 85.3% in favour of accepting with 14.7% rejecting the latest offer. The formal ballot had a turnout of 79.9%.
Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said.
“The SSTA is an autonomous teachers’ union and the response to the ballot gave a clear statement. The membership has determined to accept the latest pay offer. Throughout the period of industrial action, the SSTA has taken a measured approach, and has been willing to negotiate to find a solution to the pay dispute”.
“The SSTA is proud to be a member-led union, and the ballot is a fundamental part of our democratic process. The SSTA will be voting to accept this offer at the next SNCT meeting and asserting that the back pay due is in teachers’ pay packets as soon as possible. Hopefully, the employers will be prepared to act quickly”.
“However, the SSTA has a major concern over the unnecessary pay cap; this seems to be an act of political dogma rather than a rational proposal. The inclusion of this is a considerable barrier in the professional career structure for secondary school teachers. The career ladder has been stifled for many years: the number of posts of responsibility has been cut severely. Posts such as these are needed in secondary schools as they are essential for good management systems. The reduction in the number of posts with responsibility attached to them has put good order in schools at risk; this is a fundamental requirement for a successful school. It is no surprise that teachers are walking away and this salary cap is just a ‘slap in the face’ to teachers in senior positions in schools”.
Catherine Nicol, SSTA President said.
“This dispute could, and should, have been resolved many months ago. Scottish Government and COSLA should have been more prepared to negotiate with teacher unions properly and long before they did. This showed a lack of respect for the collective bargaining process that is in place and the unions had no option but to embark on strike action. Many days of school closures causing children to miss their education should and could have been prevented. Lessons on negotiating with teacher unions must be learnt, the process must be taken seriously in future”.
“SSTA members have been frustrated by the delay in the delivery of a pay award that should have been paid in April last year. They have been keen to get back to work and to support their pupils as they prepare for the forthcoming examinations”.
“I am proud to be the SSTA President, as the SSTA is the only teachers’ union that speaks exclusively from the perspective of teachers that work in the secondary sector, and I make no apology for this. The SSTA speaks and fights, solely on behalf of those that hold posts in Scottish Secondary schools.