SSTA Prepares for Industrial Action on Teachers’ Pay in 2018

The SSTA conducted a survey of members on the 2017 pay increase for teachers and their readiness to take action in pursuit of an acceptable pay deal in 2018.

Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said, “At this early stage 96% of SSTA members are prepared to take industrial action for an above inflation pay award in 2018. 64% were prepared to take strike action with a further 32% were prepared to take action short of strike action”

“The survey showed 90% of teachers believed the current pay increase would not encourage teachers to remain in the profession."

“The SSTA member survey highlighted the lack of recognition and the unhappiness of the teaching profession. Although pay is critical in retaining teachers the ‘never ending’ workload is pushing many teachers away from the profession”.

Seamus Searson added “It is very worrying in a time of teacher shortage that 68% of teachers have considered or are considering leaving the profession. The Government must see its priority to retain the experienced teachers we have now. This will only be achieved with a substantial pay rise in 2018 and a radical change to cut teacher workload.

“The Government must be prepared to ask if it can afford to lose more of its experienced teachers if it wishes to maintain education standards”. The survey found that

• 77% of teachers are not content with the 2017 Pay increase
• 95% of teachers believe the 2017 pay increase will not attract more people into teaching
• 89% of teachers believe the 2017 pay increase will not encourage teachers toremain in teaching
• 68% of teachers are considering or have considered a career outside ofteaching
• 50% of teachers are expecting a substantial pay offer in 2018
• 54% of teachers are not expecting changes/reductions in workload in 2018
• 49% of teachers were prepared to take strike action on the 2017 pay increase
• 64% are prepared to take strike action with a further 32% prepared to take action short of strike action should the 2018 pay increase be below the rate of inflation.

Comments from members highlight the situation

The demands and unrealistic expectations of teachers are no longer worth the mediocre pay. I’ll be leaving the profession as soon as I can find a suitable job”.

“I am now poorer than when I started the job in 2007”.

“The proposed pay increase does not reflect the demands of the teaching profession. The proposal is insulting in terms of workload, constant development work and does not show the importance of the teacher and their contribution to society”.

Kevin Campbell, SSTA President added “SSTA members care passionately about the young people they teach and have committed huge effort to give them every opportunity. This commitment needs to be recognised in terms of pay. Unfortunately, teachers’ pay has been allowed to fall to the point that many classroom teachers are unable to “make ends meet” and really struggle to reach pay day each month”

Editor’s note
The SSTA member survey took place over two weeks in December with 1359 responses. The SSTA is preparing its submission for the April 2018 pay claim for discussion at the SNCT teachers’ side meeting on 5 February.

Further information from

Seamus Searson
General Secretary

0131 313 7300