The SSTA Rejects the 5% Pay Offer and Moves Closer Towards Strike Action

The SSTA conducted a members opinion survey through school representatives, on the 5% pay offer from the employers (COSLA). The SSTA represents more than 6,500 members in Scottish secondary schools.
80% of members rejected the pay offer with 70% of members reluctantly prepared to take strike action in pursuit of a realistic pay deal.
Seamus Searson the SSTA General Secretary said
“SSTA members have given everything in the last number of years to keep education going and to ensure that all young people did not lose out during these difficult times. Teachers are walking away from the job because of the excessive workload and a poor pay offer only adds insult to injury”.
“The Scottish Government must step up to the plate and be prepared to put in place a pay offer that will retain teachers and recognise their tremendous efforts over the last few years. Teachers are already struggling to keep schools running with morale very low and COSLA’s disparaging pay offer only adds to their feeling of being grossly undervalued”.
Paul Cochrane, SSTA Salaries and Conditions of Service Convenor said
“Pay negotiating has repeatedly delayed to the detriment of teacher health and wellbeing.  The SSTA members have comprehensively indicated that they are prepared to take strike action”. 
“The SSTA Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee has rejected the latest offer and is now moving to a consultative ballot of all members as the next step in our pay campaign. Enough is Enough!”
The SSTA consultative ballot will be issued to members by email on Friday 16 September.
A typical selection of responses from SSTA members
“Offer is quite frankly disrespectful and COSLA's behaviour in these negotiations very disappointing”.
“Insulting. It is not acceptable. It is way below inflation and is a pay cut. Following Covid teachers’ morale is low and there has been very little done to improve this."
“We are under paid and under-valued. We worked through lockdowns supporting pupils. On return to school we taught pupils in school and continued to support those at home with home learning. No extra thanks has been given for this extra work”.
“Massive changes in role of teachers in past 10 years and this has not been addressed by pay or time. Staff unwilling to accept what is effectively a pay cut when inflation is expected to reach 18%”.
“The last pay deal was well below what was asked for and was not acceptable to a lot of members and this one is not acceptable. Members are willing to take strike action”.
“With inflation being 10.1%, a 5% increase is like taking a pay cut. I expected more after the last few years with what teachers have done - we have worked ourselves to the bone to provide for pupils and we don't get any thanks”.
 “I think this offer is a kick in the teeth. We are expected to do more than ever. We are responsible for more than ever. Why as teachers are we now struggling to pay our bills and choosing between eating or heating our homes”.
 “As we were forced to accept a low offer last year, this should not happen again”
“I am a secondary teacher and currently have just taken a part time job in addition to undertaking annual SQA marking just to make ends meet, a situation that is only likely to get worse. This situation is unsustainable”.
“Time for salaries to be reflected to where they should be. Our salaries have not kept in line with inflation for quite a number of years and so have fallen in real terms”
“Removing local authority control from education, and instead running education directly from the Scottish Government, would also help as it would reduce the number of cooks in the broth when it comes to pay negotiations”.
“Striking is a last resort and is not taken lightly, but it is the only course of action that COSLA will pay heed to”.
“Some staff are torn between striking for better pay and the impact this will have on pupils but teachers need a fair pay for the work that we do”.