Teachers demand higher pay and a cut in workload

The SSTA is conducting a survey of members on the proposed pay increase for teachers in 2017-2018 (1% from April with a further 1% from January to March 2018).

Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said, “The initial finding highlights the lack of recognition of the important work that teachers undertake and the unhappiness of the profession. Although pay is critical in retaining teachers the ‘never ending’ workload is pushing many teachers away”.

“The survey showed 90% of teachers believed the current pay increase will not encourage teachers to remain in the profession. The survey confirms the view that many teachers are considering a career outside of teaching (68%).

“There needs to be real recognition and a commitment to focus on the retention of teachers with a significant pay increase instead of looking at new recruits to solve the problem. There is little point in turning on the tap of recruitment when you have forgot to put the plug of retention in the bath”.

Seamus Searson added “at this early stage 66% of members are prepared to take strike action should pay not be increased above inflation in 2018. The recent Scottish Budget will not help teachers as very few will benefit from the changes in tax or proposed lifting of the pay cap”

The initial findings of the survey showed

  • 78% not content with the 2017 Pay increase
  • 96% believe the 2017 pay increase will not attract more people in to teaching
  • 90% believe the 2017 pay increase will not encourage teachers to remain in teaching
  • 68% are considering or have considered a career outside teaching
  • 49% are expecting a substantial pay offer in 2018
  • 53% are not expecting changes/reductions in workload in 2018
  • 50% are prepared to take strike action on the 2017 pay increase
  • 66% are prepared to take 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”.

“Money should be used to retain existing highly skilled teachers. I am still paying off a student loan after 14 years of teaching”

“Teachers need a substantial increase and a radical change to workload”

“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”.

“They are relying on goodwill and I feel that it is time that our goodwill and patience is recognised. Enough is enough and reluctantly it is time for strike action”.


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 member survey began on Monday 11 December and is set to close on Friday 22 December. 932 members had responded to the survey by 15 December.


The SNCT meets on 18 December to discuss the pay increase that is due to be paid from April 2017.


Further information from

Seamus Searson

General Secretary

0131 313 7300